The new book, As Silver Refined: Answers to Life's Disappointments by Kay Arthur, is an inspirational biblically based message on how to handle the difficulties and reality of life. So many books, claiming to offer Christian inspiration avoid the issue of tragedy as if it simply does not happen in a believer's life. For so many, tragedy means minor dissapointments such as a broken computer, spilled coffee, and misbehaving children. For those who experience real tragedy: death, terminal illness, divorce, crime or finanical ruin- such readers are left without any support or comfort. The fact of the matter is that really bad things do happen- beyond the ordinary nuisances that so many materialistic, "comfortable Christians" complain about. She talks about turning dissapointments into "his appointments". This means that she challanges the reader to consider the purpose behind dissapointments and that God, ih his wisdom, uses them as appointments which serve to refine the believer, just as precious metals are refined by fire.
In fact, the author must deal with her own guilty conscious as a result of first husband's suicide. It is not so common when a writer on suffering actually went through suffering herself. Kay Arthur has the courage to admit the issues she struggles with. Although, at times, it appears as if she tries to rationalize her past as stating it occured before she was saved. Nevertheless, the simple fact she is humble enough to acknowledge her past pain puts her light years ahead of many so called "spiritual" writers who probably had never had a day of suffering in their lives. Many so called Christian authors complain and bemoan when they are rushed and have no time to get their morning coffee at Starbuck's. Often the reader is left puzzeling in wonder if the author of the alleged "inspirational" book actually has spiritual priorities or wordly material priorities. Many so called Christian writers reccomend the reader to relax and have a day of freedom at an expensive spa or a vacation. In the real world, with acute crisis, death, poverty and sickness, who, but a well- to do, prosperous person untouched by the reality of tragedy can do such worldy diversions.
The anecdotes included by the author describe individuals who show courage in the face of real pain and tragedy. This is exactly what the suffering Christian needs to read, and not simply a bunch of short feel good bedtime style stories. At the end of the book is a bible study- that is actually useful in spiritual formation, in contrast to so many superficial "studies" found in the back of other books. As a blogger for Water Brook, I recieved this book for the purpose of writing this review. My opinions are my own.