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Last month I spent several hours on airplanes going to and from visiting grandkids and other relatives. A good portion of my travel time including playing games or chatting with another sweet grandchild but I also got some solid reading time in – a sweet rarity to this busy blogging Sandwich Generation granny nanny. Many thanks to WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group who sent me a free review copy of their new book on Christian pain and suffering, "When The Hurt Runs Deep," by one of my favorite writers, Kay Arthur. What a blessing it was to read this book full of encouraging and comforting Bible verses and inspirational advice on how to handle major trials that cause deep wounds in our spirits.
Kay Arthur is such an interesting writer and the book includes several personal stories along with well-grounded Scriptural advice. She deals with many different aspects of pain that come from a variety of difficult trials including anger, which often rears its ugly head for the Sandwich Generation as we are dealing with the various issues of caring for the elderly parents in our families.
Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Eph. 4:31
The LORD, the LORD God, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in lovingkindness and truth; Who keeps lovingkindness for thousands, Who forgives iniquity, transgression and sin; yet He will by no means leave the guilty unpunished." Ex. 34:6-7
Whether it's a caregiver angry at giving up their own desires, an elderly parent angry at their body for no longer cooperating, a child angry that they have lost their beloved elderly parent, or families angry at each other due to day to day friction, it is so important to deal with it in a way that is pleasing to God. She spends an entire chapter discussing the root causes of anger and the Biblical way to handle it.
Be angry, and yet do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and do not give the devil an opportunity. Eph. 4:26-27
She also takes a good solid look at both pain and suffering in general, including in-depth studies into both Job's and Joseph's sufferings. These are two of my favorite Bible heroes who set such good examples for us of how to deal with suffering as well as the anger it can bring and I was blessed and encouraged by what she wrote. In fact, the whole book was an encouragement to me and is now full of my underlinings, bookmarks, comments, and even short prayers I wrote as I was reading it.
We know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28
It's one of the best books I've read on the subject of Christian pain and suffering, including answering the question, "why does God allow suffering," and one I will be recommending highly to others, including you! It's definitely an excellent resource for all of us in the Sandwich Generation whose family either is, or will be, going through major trials, tribulations, and sorrow – including the grief of hospice or hospitalization, followed by death. It is a blessing!