simply read

My latest reading adventures...I haven't updated this page in awhile. Here is a recent blog post on what I am reading now...

What I am Reading

So, I thought it was time to do something a bit different. Something I have not done since high school, except maybe a joint construction with my first graders. So, here it is....a book review.
Now don't go tuning out straight away...or switching pages...or running far far away when I say those words. I thought I would take the time to share with you a book that I have been wrestling with over the past 6 months or so. A book that has helped me in my walk with God and with my walk with CFS.

Walking with God Through Pain and Suffering

 (A book review)

Creation... Maui Sunset, 2014

Now, when faced with the 350 plus pages of this book whilst going through a period of suffering in your life may not seem that appealing. That is a correct assumption. This is the sort of book that is great to have read prior to the time when it feels like everything is falling apart. That being said, I have been reading it through the season I am in now. However, I would have liked to have read it in the pre CFS life I once had, and then be able to delve back into the riches of application and truth that Tim Keller expounds on now I am in this time. Sort of like a handy reference and encouragement guide. The epilogue really clearly summarises the journey this book takes and I know I will be back there and in the earlier chapters in the future. But don't cheat and start from the was a really good surprise when I discovered it this morning as I finished the book, and could then spend time praying through each of the points.

The book itself is broken into 3 sections. The first outlines the phenomenon of human suffering. This section is dense. It also contains a whole lot of history and cultural contexts. I actually enjoyed reading and getting my head around this. What?! I hear you say. Yes, I actually enjoyed some history...but don't tell that to the historians in my family, or to my friends who know my stance on reading (or watching) anything historical or to do with time travel. However, the latter is a discussion for another day. It was useful not just focusing on the theology of suffering but also contextualised with cultural and world stances on the issue. Each chapter ends with a person's individual suffering story which starts to tie in the application early on.  I am looking forward to going back and rereading this section one day soon, as my CFS brain fog has left me needing a content refresher!

A transition then occurs into facing suffering. Here topics such as the sovereignty of God, the suffering of God and the reason for suffering are all pulled apart. Now, there are big doctrines to get your head around. How can suffering be both just and unjust? How can God be both a sovereign and a suffering God? Keller takes you on a journey to unpack these ideas, and get our tiny CFS riddled brains around these HUGE concepts. We even delve into why God uses suffering. As I read through a lot of this I am reminded more and more of how God is using suffering in my life.
' is only in suffering that faith and trust in God can be known to be in God, and therefore it is only in suffering that our love relationship with God can become more and more genuine.' (p192) Uh-huh! Duh! Yep! Does that resonate with you too?

The final 6 chapters are the practicalities of walking through suffering. And they are practical... from weeping and praying, to trusting and hoping. We are walked through the lives of Paul, of Job, of David, of Joseph, of Daniel and that of Jesus. We are walked through our lives, and our hopes, our responses, our priorities, and we are drawn time and time again back to Jesus.
' ...we must relocate our glory and reorder our loves. Suffering almost always shows you that some things you thought you couldn't live without, you can live without if you lean on God. And that brings freedom.' (p307) The great number of things I could list over the past 2 years that I have discovered I had put my priorities in. The things that I am reminded more and more that I hoped in, that I prided myself in, that I relied upon and got my strength from. The things that are now gone. Yet, it is true, I am free in Christ. So free!
Walking with God through Pain and Suffering

Then it comes down to my verdict. Should you read Tim Keller's Walking with God through Pain and Suffering? Yeah, I think so. Read it now, whilst you are not drowning in the pain, or read it now whilst you are. Whatever your situation, have a go. Just be warned, it may take a while to get through, especially if, like me, brain fog is an issue, but it is worth the perseverance.


A photo posted by Kate Eastman (@makeitbakeitfakeit) on