Tuesday, November 15, 2016

The Beyond Suffering Bible - book review

It was a bright and beautiful day. My granddaughter had come to visit. At three years of age, her favorite thing to do is play and oh, how she loves to be outdoors. Since I'm her favorite playmate, I never mind when her little hand reaches out for mine begging me to join her in a game of tossing the ball. As we head outside, her tiny laughter melts my heart. We tossed the ball back and forth for several minutes. Her eye hand coordination hasn't developed fully yet so she missed the ball often. Though she didn't mind, she found it funny to ask me to retrieve the ball whenever she missed. Being a good grandmother, I obeyed her gentle commands and chased after the rogue ball. This toss and miss game continued and we reveled in laughter. Once more, she threw the ball my way and it skittered down a leaf strewn path. I ran to gather the ball in my arms and in a split second, found myself on the ground. There had been a hole and I'd found it. As I lay upon the cold ground, my daughter came running over to see if I was okay. I sat up and told her I didn't know. I needed to sit there a few minutes and gather my wits about me. A few minutes passed and I thought I was probably just suffering hurt pride, but when I tried to stand, I felt a searing pain in my left wrist. It was abnormally shaped and swelling rapidly. At my daughter's insistence, we went to the doctor. After having my wrist x-rayed and examined, the verdict was in - a fractured wrist.

At close to sixty years of age, I'm no spring chicken. The next few days were filled with a throbbing pain. I quickly found myself unable to do the most menial tasks. It was frustrating to be suffering and I didn't like it one bit.

Later that day, the mail came. I'd received a package. I could tell from the size and shape that it was a book. Trying to open the package with one hand was difficult, but I managed. Inside I found a new Bible. As I pulled out the book, I read the title, "The Beyond Suffering Bible." I had to laugh! God's timing is always perfect. I slipped it out of the casing and flipped it open. The first page I came to was a beautiful devotional written about Joseph. I read it carefully and was impressed with the tender way it was written. I could imagine Joseph sitting in a dungeon year after year wondering if he'd been forgotten. But as I read the devotional, I was reminded that even in the midst of difficult circumstances, God is faithful. He does not forget us or fail to see our suffering. What a beautiful reminder as I glanced down at my throbbing wrist. Though my injury in now way compared to all Joseph experienced, it was still important to me. It impacted my life and caused me to struggle.

I continued to look through the Bible. It was too heavy to hold with only one arm, so I lay it on the table. I noticed several things about the Bible. Not only did it have devotionals throughout, it also had connection points, little reminders of how God works in our own lives. They contained practical solutions and helpful hint along with Scripture application. Profiles on important Biblical characters were included and were written to help readers grasp details about these individuals. I also noticed at the beginning of each book of the Bible, an introduction was given. These introductions included important information and contained themes related to suffering and disability.

Joni Earekson Tada has been one of my role models for some time. Due to an unfortunate diving accident, Joni was left a paraplegic at a young age. Through her suffering, Joni developed a beautiful relationship with Christ. Years of pain and physical disability caused her faith to grow stronger day by day. She has used her life to glorify God and her ministry has helped others learn to look to Christ for their strength. Joni was the perfect person to compile the beautiful Beyond Suffering Bible. She knows first hand what a life of suffering involves. (You can watch a short video of Joni here.)

My broken wrist has caused me to be unable to blog or write for the past few weeks. These are two of my favorite things to do. Since I'd committed to write reviews for several Christian companies, I had no idea how I would keep those commitments. I surely didn't feel like typing with one hand. It would have been too difficult. But I found a way to honor my commitment and was very grateful. By using a voice to text typing program, I completed today's book review. I have many more weeks of being incapacitated as my wrist heals. Thankfully, the pain has eased some but still affects my daily tasks. As I focus on all the things I can't do because of my wrist, I'm reminded, through the devotionals in the Beyond Suffering Bible, that often God uses trials and suffering to teach us.

I'm thankful I received this Bible at the perfect time! God used it to minister to me and I'm sure He will use it to minister to you as well. What a perfect gift this book would make for anyone dealing with pain or injury. It would also be a wonderful reference for those who are either just coming out of a season of suffering or just entering one.

I would like to thank Tyndale House Publishers for the complimentary copy of the Beyond Suffering Bible and for giving me the opportunity to review it for them. It was my pleasure and I was in no way encouraged to write a positive review.

The Beyond Suffering Bible is written in the New Living Translation which makes it very easy to read and understand.

Learn more about the Beyond Suffering Bible here

Joni Earekson Tada talks about the Beyond Suffering Bible here


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