Books to read when days end with Why?

This past week, one of our local restaurants here in northeast Paulding closed. These guys worked like crazy to make their business go. All small business owners do. It is in their nature. So many of us are either feeling it happen to us and around us. But it doesn't stop there. It seems like there is a snowball effect as more couples are struggling in their marriages and far too many throwing in the towel.

This doesn't even touch on those families and individuals struggling with the day to day of special needs complications, depression and other mental illnesses, medical conditions that have become physically and emotionally unbearable. I could go on.

As one who has dealt with cancer and depression in my own life alongside chronic headaches, I have known suffering too. I have faced rejection and failure in my calling – Yes, even pastors know it, its just few mention it or name it outside of hanging out with other clergy. The reason I hear most? No one wants to hear that pastors suffer.

So let me ask you, do people not want to hear that Jesus suffered? Catches you off guard doesn't it? In our western culture, I'm not sure churches likes to hear that truth either. Still we can't escape the reality...”we do see Him who was made for a little while lower than the angels, namely, Jesus, because of the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, so that by the grace of God He might taste death for everyone. For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things, and through whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to perfect the author of their salvation through sufferings. (Hebrews 2:9-10 NASB)”

As the next few weeks unfold at Crossroads UMC with our series, “When Days End In Why?” I thought I'd share some of the books that have spoken to me and helped me on my journey.

Shattered Dreams Larry Crabb
Mourning Into Dancing Walter Wangerin
A Spirituality of Imperfection Ernest Kurtz & Katherine Ketchem
Man's Search For Meaning Victor Frankl
The Glory of a Wasted Life Christ John Otto
The Critical Journey Janet O. Hagberg

MAY I ASK? What has been your greatest struggle with suffering in your life?

MAY I SUGGEST? Find ways to connect with the suffering in your community. Whether through a food pantry, clothing center, women's shelter, children's home, hospital; plan this month to associate with suffering. Come back and share what you learned here.


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