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Grace relieves deep disappointment,
This review is from: When the botton Drops Out PB (Paperback)
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'When the bottom drops out' is one man's story of finding comfort and relief through grace when his best friend and his wife both die within a short time of each other of virulent and unexpected cancer. The author is a pastor and he tells his tale of how he struggled to keep going when the bottom dropped out of his and his family's world.
The period of grief and struggle is well documented and the text liberally peppered with stories from the Bible of others who have gone through a great period of trauma and grief and yet through keeping a trust in God have managed to navigate through the swells and troughs of emotional turmoil that inevitably follows devastating circumstances. The author came to realise that if he kept his mind focussed on 'Not my will, but Thy will be done' he and his family could come to terms with their devastating loss. There is a very useful section on the difference between 'transition' and 'change' which the author illustrates well with his own life story.
Despite the subject matter the book is an easy read and full of hope and gives examples of how people the author has known have coped with devastating illness in a positive way. There are poignant moments e.g.the letter his wife wrote to him knowing that she was going to die.
Drawing heavily on the Bible and what it tells us of suffering the author shows that although suffering is ubiquitous in the human condition fostering a strong relationship with the divine can help an individual pull through even the darkest times.
The Chapter headings give an inkling of the topics that the author covers; e.g. Chapter 3: Seeing God Above All, Over All, In All ...Joseph; Chapter 4: Turning Adversity into Advantage ... Abraham; Chapter 5: Persevering Faith... Jeremiah: Chapter 6: Good Grief; Chapter 7: The Challenge of Change; Chapter 8: More Glimpses of Grace.
At the end of the book is a helpful discussion guide that could be used with people who are going through the devastating disappointment of loss in their lives. The series of questions on each chapter draw out important points in the narrative of Rob's life and ask the reader to apply this to their own lives. For example:
Chapter 2: What does Rob mean when he says: 'What soap is to the hands, suffering is to the soul' (p.48)?
Chapter 3: Drawing on examples from this chapter or from your own life, describe someone who handled adversity well. Then describe someone who seemed to drown in hopelessness as a result of suffering. Do you agree with Rob that people's view of God makes a difference in their response? Explain.
Chapter 7: As you read the letter Carol wrote to Rob, what struck you most? How does the letter illustrate that Carol was working through her own transition?
A useful real-life modern narrative for anyone who has been through disappointment or loss in their lives and would like to see that the way the dark time is handled can make a difference to how they get through the suffering.