Thursday, November 12, 2009

Finding Purpose Beyond Our Pain by Paul Meier, MD and David L. Henderson, MD

As a member of the Thomas Nelson Review Blogger program , I had the opportunity to review this spiritually motivating book, Finding Purpose Beyond Our Pain.
Consider the two verses, Psalm 34:4 “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me”, and James 2:2&3, “Count it all joy, my breathren when you meet various trials, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.” Imagine life if you actually had to face various trials and evils such as injustice, death, loneliness, failure, rejection, depression and terminal illness. For many of us, this is an unbearable thought as we are far removed from facing such hardships and trials. Maybe we have been lucky enough not to have to face extreme hardships. But for the rest of us, these torments and pains are all too real. The trials of life are often crippling, beyond what we can bear using our own means and resources.
Finally embodied in a book, there is spiritual aid and support that does not dismiss the pains of life, nor does it deny the existence of pain nor does it make excuses. This book acknowledges the extreme pains and trials we may face and it offers spiritually satisfying ways of facing life’s difficult issues. Hope and happiness does not need to end in the face of calamity, injustice and pain. God can use our pain for a greater good or purpose. God is not simply an abstract, unreachable power, but is depicted as a source of real and concrete strength that is more powerful than even the worst of our pain.
The anecdotes in this book are not simply superficial tales of misfortune. The stories and hardships such as terminal illness, death, forclosure, and unemployment faced by some of the case studies are timely as well as very real. In the face of such hardship and trials, to see examples of the good which results, are very motivating. It offers true hope that can shine as a light in the darkness of despair. Written with empathy and sensitivity, I recommend this book as an effective resource for those who are enduring the most difficult trials of life.