March 18, 2009

Deeper Than Tears: Promises of Comfort and Hope

BOOK #: 19

CHALLENGES: Spiritually Speaking Challenge

RATING: Mmm...That's Good

Deeper Than Tears is a short collection of quotes and excerpts from authors and experts on healing after a tragedy, such as the death of a loved one or the break-up of a marriage or the onset of an illness or disability for examples. The collection covers five topics: Tears, Tenderness, Trials, Trust, and Triumph. The passages selected are full of comfort, encouragement, and hope. They allow you to grieve as well as move on from your grief. I want to share a passage or quote from each section to allow you to experience what this book can offer.

TEARS: There are many times when I feel angry about what happened with my father. I need a scapegoat, someone to blame for his illness, for not catching it sooner, for his death before I felt he was ready. I read this: "Though we know God is not to blame for any death, so many times it seems that he turns a blind eye by allowing his permissive will to occur. He stands dead-center when we are looking for a target. I'm convinced that God loves us so much that he is willing to take the blame, to absorb our anger when we need a punching bag. I think he would rather have us yelling at him than not speaking at all." -Leslie Williams, Night Wrestling

TENDERNESS: "The God of all comfort does not seem to extend his comfort to make us comfortable. Perhaps that's because our tendency would be to become La-Z-Boy believers, content to crank back our chairs, put up our feet, and snooze through the losses of others. Instead, he offers his comfort that we might be motivated by mercy to tenderly extend kindness to the hurting." -Patsy Clairmont, Under His Wings

TRIALS: I am certainly guilty of this. "All of us have wondered at times why God doesn't do more to fix our problems. But our human eyes often fail to see that God isn't rushing to change our circumstances because he is concerned with a much more serious problem- our character. While you struggle with the woes of this world. God's main occupation is preparing you for the world to come. The focus of what God is doing in your life takes place in you, not around you." -Andy Stanley, Like a Rock

TRUST: "Think of the things you do not worry about. Perhaps you never worry about whether you will be able to get water out of the faucet in your kitchen, or maybe you do not worry about a tree falling on your house. Now ask yourself why you do not worry about such things. Is it because, in the case of running water, that it has always been there every time you wanted it, or that a tree has never fallen on your house before? Certainty breeds trust, doesn't it? We can be just as certain and just as worry-free about God's love, protection, and provision because he has never gone back on a single one of his promises. He never changes. Great is his faithfulness." -Billy Graham, Unto the Hills

TRIUMPH: "What you look for in will surely find. But the direction in which you look is up to you." -Arthur Gordon

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