Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Hurting with God: A Book Review

About The Book:

Giving new hope to the weary, this book brings together scholarship and personal experience to understand the necessity of lament language through the exploration of the Psalms.
Many writers have considered the question, "Why do bad things happen to good people?" Pemberton, however, sets this philosophical issue aside to consider the practical. How do believers live out faith in prolonged seasons of pain and loss? How can we live with God when it hurts--and continues to hurt? Drawing from his own daily struggle with chronic pain and years of reading and teaching the Psalms, Pemberton leads readers on a quest to recover a lost ancient resource for people of faith--the language of lament. The book of Psalms brings out the reality and presence of lament in ancient days, indeed laments make up a third of the Psalter. Through the exploration and study of imagery and language, Pemberton revitalizes this forgotten tool to rejuvenate those who seek to connect with God in times of struggle.

About The Author:

GLENN PEMBERTON teaches Old Testament at Abilene Christian University, including a popular undergraduate course on Israel's wisdom and devotional literature. As a preacher among churches for over twenty years and a student curious about many things, Glenn looks for the connections between God's created order and a life lived by faith. He earned his PhD from the University of Denver and the Iliff School of Theology. He has published various essays on Proverbs and one book, When God Calls (21st Century Christian, 2007). Glenn and his wife Dana live in Abilene, Texas.

My Review:
During the last seven years my life has been full of some amazing experiences, like having my girls, meeting some amazing friends, attending great churches, continuing to grow in love with my amazing husband and growing in my relationship with Jesus Christ. 
However, these years have also been full of some incredibly hard times. Being diagnosed with cancer at age 32 (now seven years cancer-free), infertility issues, a marriage crisis, the premature birth of my oldest child, the death of two siblings and watching my parent's marriage end. Wow, just reading that has made me shudder with sadness. However, through it all was my Lord, carrying me. 
Recently I had the chance to read Hurting With God: Learning to Lament with the Psalms, and little did I know how applicable this book would become. Only weeks after beginning to read it, my family had to deal with the death of my 17 year old sister.  I was about half way through the book when she when home to Jesus on May 30, 2012. Since her death, I have been comforted not only by friends, family, and especially God's word, but also by many of the thoughts in this book.
The book is very well written, and though a more theological study of the Psalms, it is still easily understood for the every day person to read. It is an amazing reminder that we are not alone in our journey called life, both in the good, and especially in the bad. God is with us always and He is our strength when we think we think we cannot go on. It is also an amazing resource for those who help others go through their times of lament, and helps us remember that we can ask "why" when the tough times come. 
I highly recommend this book and give it a huge thumbs up.

BUY IT: You can purchase Hurting With God online here, through ACU Press. It is also available through your favorite local bookseller.

****I received a complimentary copy of this book, courtesy of Leafwood Publishers, for the purpose of review on this blog. All opinions expressed are my own, and I have not been compensated in any other manner***

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