As we continue to feel the ripple effects of COVID-19, and face varying degrees of disappointment and suffering because of it, here are some books I’d recommend (with a quote from each one). Take advantage of the extra reading time!
Trusting God by Jerry Bridges: “[God] does not delight in causing us to experience pain or heartache. He always has a purpose for the grief He brings or allows to come into our lives. Most often we do not know what that purpose is, but it is enough to know that His infinite wisdom and perfect love have determined that the particular sorrow is best for us. God never wastes pain. He always uses is to accomplish His purpose. And His purpose is for His glory and our good. Therefore, we can trust Him when our hearts are aching or our bodies are racked with pain.”
Suffering Is Never for Nothing by Elisabeth Elliot: “We are not adrift in chaos. To me that is the most fortifying, the most stabilizing, the most peace-giving thing that I know about anything in the universe. Every time that things have seemingly fallen apart in my life, I have gone back to those things that do not change. Nothing in the universe can ever change those facts. He loves me. I am not at the mercy of chance.”
When God Weeps by Joni Eareckson Tada: “Yes, our sufferings matter to the Almighty and he has wept in empathy, crying at the graveside of Lazarus; he often wept when he prayed, pouring out tears in the garden of Gethsemane. But heaven will reveal something different. An eternal plan that was never threatened, never in jeopardy of collapsing, never on the edge of defeat. There will be no need for tears.”
It’s Not Supposed to Be This Way by Lysa TerKeurst: “The piercing angst of disappointment in everything on this side of eternity creates a discontent with this world and pushes us to long for God Himself–and for the place where we will finally walk in the garden with Him again. Where we will finally have peace and security and eyes that no longer leak tears…and hearts that are no longer broken.”
The Scars That Have Shaped Me by Vaneetha Risner: “God invites us all to experience this deeper healing. This miracle of a changed heart rather than changed circumstances. This healing that strengthens our prayer life, increases our faith, and helps us love Jesus more. This healing that is not shallow or fleeting; it will last throughout eternity.”
Dark Clouds, Deep Mercies by Mark Vroegop: “You might think lament is the opposite of praise. It isn’t. Instead, lament is a path to praise as we are led through our brokenness and disappointment. The space between brokenness and God’s mercy is where this song is sung. Think of lament as the transition between pain and promise. It is the path from heartbreak to hope.”