Showing posts with label suffering. Show all posts
Showing posts with label suffering. Show all posts

Tuesday, September 5, 2023

Nonfiction Book Review: A Small Cup of Light by Ben Palpant

What it's about:
The book that J.I. Packer called, "Haunting, deeply pondered, and beautifully written," is changing lives. A Small Cup of Light is the story of an unexpected encounter with God in the desert of despair. Several years ago, Ben Palpant 
suffered a sudden and massive health collapse that crippled many of his faculties nearly overnight. That experience prompted him to ask the hard questions, like, "What shall we do when confronted with the ache of our suffering in the presence of a living God?" Palpant's story is proof that a relationship with God can be more intimate not in spite of suffering, but because of suffering. A Small Cup of Light is a bold invitation to face God in the darkness. It is a rousing call to the human spirit, offering hope to the hopeless and a song to the suffering.

My Thoughts:
I seldom read and review nonfiction. Not because I don't like it, but because most of what I read is research for writing. Author, Ben Palpant attended the Goodlit Writer's retreat with me and twelve other writers, where he shared beautiful fiction prose. I knew he had published before in the realm of nonfiction, so I thought I'd see what he had written when I got home. I'm so glad I did. A Small Cup of Light is the heart-wrenching and yet, joy filled story of a time in his life when he faced a difficult and scary health crisis. Ben takes that hard time and opens up about how God met him there after he learned to listen. This isn't a sugar-coated story of recovery. This is the honest story of a man who came face-to-face with crisis and found along with the anger, disappointment, and frustration, a joy that could only come from glorifying God. Ben's book will lift the weary and weighted and offer hope to all of us. His melodic writing comforts, along with the many references to scripture and wisdom from other writers which he quotes. He says, "The very hope of the Gospel rests directly upon our ability to imagine a world in which suffering serves as the soil from which resurrection springs." I highly recommend A Small Cup of Light. I purchased a copy.

Wednesday, April 6, 2022

He Has my Heart

As a believer in God, Jesus is asking me to also believe in Him.
And why wouldn't I? 

As sure as the flowers bloom in the spring, Jesus loves me.
He has my heart and protects my soul.
Life may not be easy, but I have the one who eases the pain and gives me joy.


Saturday, February 2, 2019

There is Joy

James 1:2-4
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds,  because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.  Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

I was helping my grandson, Zeke, with his weekly vocabulary words. I enjoy helping the kids with homework. Watching their young minds work fascinates me. One of the words he needed to know was glee. Not a common word in the third grade. He had to tell me the meaning, a synonym, and an antonym. Can you guess the synonym? JOY! The antonym ? Sorrow, suffering. As we worked, my mind returned to the word glee and how I prayed that joy would fill this young man's heart. But as I well know, his life will also meet with sorrow and suffering. It's not possible to live on this earth and not feel the effects of sadness. But the beautiful thing, the best thing is that through the sorrow and suffering, Jesus offers joy.

James, the brother of Jesus, says to count it all joy when we go through trials. James should know, he watched his brother, Jesus, die a cruel death. But he also knows that Jesus came back to life to bring grace and forgiveness. Even as I walk through the valley of sorrow, my heart holds joy knowing Jesus lives for me. I love what James says in the later part of the verses. " Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete..." That's what growing in Christ is all about; letting the Holy Spirit help us work through the difficult times so we come out on the other side a stronger more mature person in Christ.
There is joy in the journey. Let it be Jesus' joy.