here is the brief synopsis:
Every one of us will experience suffering. Many of us are experiencing it now. As we have seen in recent years, evil is real in our world, present and close to each one of us. In such difficult times, suffering and evil beg questions about God--Why would an all-good and all-powerful God create a world full of evil and suffering? And then, how can there be a God if suffering and evil exist?
These are ancient questions, but also modern ones as well. Atheists such as Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, and even former believers like Bart Ehrman answer the question simply: The existence of suffering and evil proves there is no God.
In this captivating new book, best-selling author Randy Alcorn challenges the logic of disbelief, and brings a fresh, realistic, and thoroughly biblical insight to the issues these important questions raise. Alcorn offers insights from his conversations with men and women whose lives have been torn apart by suffering, and yet whose faith in God burns brighter than ever. He reveals the big picture of who God is and what God is doing in the world–now and forever. And he equips you to share your faith more clearly and genuinely in this world of pain and fear. As he did in his best-selling book, Heaven, Randy Alcorn delves deep into a profound subject, and through compelling stories, provocative questions and answers, and keen biblical understanding, he brings assurance and hope to all.
i found these wonderful tidbits in this book, which i can completely relate to in our experience with losing jonathan, and that i'm sure many other people can as well:
alcorn continues to share about a young woman born with hypertelorism, a facial abnormality and quotes from her website:
"God knows what good may arise from a disease or disability and what evil could come if that disease or disability were withheld or healed." (p. 232)
“I don’t really like the phrase “birth defect” – it contradicts my theology. A “defect” implies a mistake and I believe that God is sovereign. If he had the power to create the entire universe according to his exact specifications, then my face was certainly no challenge for him! If God is loving, why did he deform my face? I don’t know – maybe because with a normal face I would have been robbed of the thousands and thousands of blessings that I have received because of my deformities. It seems odd, but usually our greatest trial is what most molds and shapes us. It gives us character, backbone, courage, wisdom, discernment, and friendships that are not shallow.” (p. 232)alcorn also quotes the mother who wrote:
“I believe that God chose this sorrow for our family. And surprisingly, what I first felt was a sorrow, I see now as a joy. In all sincerity, if given such a chance, I would not change the journey our family has traveled. We have all learned, we have all grown, and we love the Lord and His sovereign direction for our lives.” (p. 232)
one thing we have heard people say to us over and over again that they felt that we did not deserve to lose jonathan, and that it just wasn't fair that it happened to us. however, i have believed from the beginning that jonathan's life was no mistake. his short life was ordained long, long ago by a God who knows the good that was and is to come of it, even though many will not understand why this happened.
two and a half months later, i still believe this and especially now that we have seen some of the fruit of his life. seeing the good that has come from this journey given us much to be joyful about in spite of the sad circumstances. every day we become stronger in our faith and in our determination to trust the sovereignty of God. i just don't know how people make it through tough times without any Hope.
so....all that to say that i'm really looking forward to reading this book. i need a fresh biblical perspective on the suffering we've experienced lately. (and i'm especially glad that someone else did the years of research and wrapped it all up in a tidy package. is that wrong?)
if anyone, especially other T13 moms, would like to join me in reading the book "together," let me know. i'm sure i'll be occasionally remarking about the book here and i welcome your comments and messages.