Monday, August 13, 2012

Walking with God in the Midst of Pain

These three books are written by authors who not only understand but have experienced raw pain and the soothing balm that only God can provide. The suffering for each is different, but the answering still, small voice of God that whispers His love and compassion into the hardest places is found by each and expressed in their own wondrously powerful way.

Perez, Venus Angelica. © 2012 Mentality Listens: Where Art Screams 2nd ed.
LCCN 2012903846
ISBN-13 978-1470089979
ISBN-10 1470089971

This book is a collection of poems Perez wrote as she was “introduced to pain, was married to pain, divorced pain, and remarried a few years later.” Perez reminds us, “It is not easy to live with pain, but it is possible.”

Perez shares her inmost heart.  Her pain-filled cries go out to a God she knows is there even when He seems not to be.  Even when she finds herself drawn back in to relationships and feelings that move her away from a place of safety, she remembers the God who has sealed her to himself. Perez has selected poems that take the reader through betrayal, sorrow and a marvelous comfort as she is pulled from and through what most troubles the soul. In her words are not only brutality and evil, but love and forgiveness.

Perez is a former marine and a disabled veteran. She lives in, through and beyond her chronic pain, in ways that will take you to your knees.

Shelley Hitz. (August 1, 2012) Finding Hope in the Midst of Tragedy
Body and Soul Publishing 

Following her father’s brutal beating resulting in traumatic brain injury and a coma, Hitz began a journal to deal with her feelings. As God worked through her father’s slow but steady improvement, Hitz encouraged her family and their friends by sharing her diary through a blog. Through her battle with rage and despair and release, God worked an act of grace in her heart.

Finding Hope, coming from her blog, becomes an opportunity for anyone struggling with the unfairness, the pain, the inability to cope and understand. She shares not only her experiences but opportunities for the reader to create their own journal, their own freedom to talk honestly with God.

Elizabeth L. Chalker

Hanging on By the Scratch Marks My Nails Left Behind (Raw Faith)

Xulon Press ©2012


Elizabeth Chalker suffers from late stage lyme disease, probably fatal, offering nothing but a slow, agonizing death. Lyme disease is complicated and compounded by other serious health issues that have left her bedridden and mostly alone. In this roaring furnace where she experiences daily frustration, unbearable pain, and, like Job, unjustifiable suffering, she has found the way to walk with unbound faith and trust in God.  

In her book, I was at first witness, but soon became her companion, experiencing through my own chronic pain such wonder at her passionate love and unquenchable thirst for God. I have lived eighteen years with chronic pain. At times, her cries to God for deliverance were so intense I had to stop reading.

The book had somehow become not only Chalker’s story, but mine, as well. I had to stand in awe like King Nebuchadnezzar, “It is my privilege to report to you the gracious miracles that the High God has done for me. His miracles are staggering, his wonders are surprising, His kingdom lasts and lasts, his sovereign rule goes on forever.” *

If you are hurting, crying out in anger or fear, or if you know someone who seems to be weighed down with their hurts and their needs, Hanging on by the Scratch Marks My Nails Left Behind has a place on your shelf beside C. S. Lewis’s The Problem of Pain and Philip Yancey’s Where Is God When It Hurts? It is a terrible, dark place that can only be lit by God's grace in all the ways it comes.

*Daniel 4:2-3 MSG - A Dream of a Chopped-Down Tree - King - Bible ... (n.d.). retrieved from (8/9/2012)

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