Saturday, January 12, 2013

When God Weeps.


 The first book of Joni's I ever read was Diamonds in the Dust. In this beautiful book she mentioned that one of the first people she questioned about God and His role in suffering was a sixteen year old boy from her church who was a student of the Bible. She agreed to buy him all the cola he wanted if he would come to her house and study the Scriptures on suffering with her. He did, and the conversations they had took them close to the heart of God in our pain, and made them lifelong friends. Thirty years later, When God Weeps was written with the same Steve Estes. Joni and Steve have both deepened their knowledge of the Scriptures. With the help of Steve's wife Verna and Joni's husband Ken they have both grown in the LORD and lived out these answers to suffering in the day to day toil of life, and the answers do not change. From the first time Joni looked at Steve and asked "Did God put me in my wheelchair?" to today, as I listen to Joni on her radio moment and Steve watches his eight children grow up, the answer has never changed.

This book will easily be one of my Top Ten of 2013. Joni does not shy away from hard, aching pain. She tells the story of a wheel chair bound friend, wasting away physically, somehow thriving in spirit, and the night he was attacked by ants in his bed. Pain added to pain! How did this strong in spirit weak in body man keep praising God in the middle of afflictions?

Some of the things Joni and Steve wrestle with- Do bad things ever happen to "good" people?

What about the pain caused by wicked human actions- like the nurse who neglects her patient until he dies and uses his money to feed a cocaine addiction? Is God in charge even when people sin? I mean really sin- murder of a child, rape of a child, all filth and wickedness- does God have power to judge it and someday scour it off of the earth? More- does God have power to scour our filth and wickedness out of our hearts?

Scripture says God is Sovereign- over Children dying? Over Women, beautiful young women being abused and healthy young men being injured in war? Yes. He is Sovereign. And He is Good.  This book is a passionate book- born out of pain and a look deep into the eyes of Christ. He knows all about suffering. He is Sovereign over yours.
A truthful book. An unflinching book. A sometimes shocking book. I dare you to read it.

I am grateful to the authors who wrote this book and to Zondervan Publishing who gave me my copy. The appendix of Scripture verses on God's Sovereignty is worth it's weight in gold.



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