TWO BOOKS FOR TOUGH TIMES

February feels, y'all. We've found a lot of help and comfort from two books in the last couple of weeks. Here's what and why.



It's been a tough season. Friends moving back to the States. Mostly grey skies overhead. Even though it's been milder than usual it's still been very 'Meh' and 'Ugh' and 'I need a nap'.


We've found a lot of comfort through these two books. We've enjoyed them so much that we want to share them with you.


DARK CLOUDS, DEEP MERCY - Mark Vroegop

So, so, good. Mark shares his tragic story of loss and how his season of suffering taught him to rediscover the grace of Lament. Lament seems foreign and might even sound a little lame - but it's gold. Actual gold.


The world cries, Christian's lament.


Lament is the uniquely Christian way of responding to the wide-ranging emotions we experience and turning them to God in prayer.


One third of the Psalms are Laments - songs of sorrow - cries for help and for change. We've been learning to lament as a family and learning to lament.


Lament involves four clear steps:

1. Turn to God.

2. Express your emotions.

3. Boldly ask for help.

4. Choose to trust.


Mark has written a very helpful and readable book and our family is simply grateful for it. It's strange to say but we wouldn't be able to appreciate Mark for the book if he wasn't allowed to go through so much suffering and tragedy in order to be able to write it.


We're on a journey of learning to express our emotions through Lament.


SPURGEON'S SORROWS: REALISTIC HOPE FOR THOSE WHO SUFFER FROM DEPRESSION - Zack Eswine

Zack is a fantastic author.


This book goes deep into the life and ministry of one of the world's most prolific preachers. Years ago, Charles Spurgeon pastored at the other end of the Bakerloo Line down in Elephant and Castle.


While Spurgeon's preaching ministry was first rate and world renowned his inner life is what is most encouraging. Spurgeon battled with depression and many dark nights of the soul.


Spurgeon said things like:

I am the subject of depressions of spirit so fearful that I hope none of you ever get to such extremes of wretchedness as I go to.


and


Personally I know that there is nothing on earth that the human frame can suffer to be compared with despondency and prostration of mind.


The book is like medicine for the soul.


This has brought us into bigger considerations about the life of the emotions. We're taking time to read and consider more about the emotions and what healing and wholeness should look like.


For what it's worth, it seems like lots of problems around the world today could be helped if the emotional life were tended to and transformed. We'll see where this journey takes us.


WHAT ELSE?

It's only one more week of school before the half-term break and then it's Shepherd's birthday on Saturday. I mighty little boy is turning S I X...we are not ready. Here's to getting through one more week of school and then having a little time to breathe and recover.


Thank you for being on this journey with us. We are thankful for you.


But I have trusted in your steadfast love; my heart shall rejoice in your salvation. I will sing to the Lord, because he has dealt bountifully with me.

Psalm 13:5-6