Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Beyond the Valley

I have just read Beyond the Valley: finding hope in life's losses, by Dave Branon

I found it Biblically encouraging as Mr. Branon is candid with the agony he and his family have had since the earthly loss of their third daughter to a car accident in 2002.  He is able to share his true feelings and doubts, and then point us right back to the Almighty God for His great compassion and His sovereignty even in our tragedies.

Concerning the "whys" and understanding God completely, Mr. Branon says,

"But not figuring God out is a good thing because it reminds us that He is so much greater and more complicated and more nuanced than we could ever understand...

...when things go wrong...we are left with the option of simply trusting that He knows what He is doing."

Mr. Branon reminds us how the Apostle Paul expresses God as the Father of compassion and how much our hearts covet compassion.

Concerning sovereignty, he helps us understand that without God, there is only randomness, chaos.

Concerning how God sends His grace:

"Grace marks out the pathway to survival.  It is all we need.  And somehow transforms weakness into strength."

"...if we stand strong and courageous while clinging with a grip of faith to the hand of God, we can peer ahead at new tomorrows with confidence and hope.  Our future can become a land of promise."

When other people who walk with you through your valley fall away for whatever reasons, you can know that God is with you and He truly knows and understands your situation.  He is always there with His comfort.

This book is more than just a man sharing his great grief over the death of his child. Because he now knows and understands agony, he is able to relate to those of us who have lived with great loss, and can point us to the Father of compassion and strength.  Along with this he encourages us to walk with others in their pain.

"In life, joys and sorrows often intermingle, which makes the hopeful glimpses of a praise-filled future so heartening. 

Amidst the sadnesses of life, I cling to God's mercies and the sure hope of the promised future, which make it possible to live with the pain of not hearing my daughter's voice anymore on this earth."

I recommend this book to anyone who suffers from the agonies of this life, as it will point you to our great God in precious, tender ways as well as encourage you to reach out to others in pain.  May God be glorified!

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