Monday, November 24, 2014
Book Review: Beside Bethesda
Beside Bethesda is a 31 day devotional written by Joni Eareckson Tada. It is concerned with pain and suffering and "deeper healing." Within the devotional, she shares personal stories and insights. Several times she's mentions within the text that she has been in her wheelchair for 47 years. She reflects a bit on what she's learned in those decades. It's honest reflecting. Her desire for physical healing, but, her ever-increasing joy in the spiritual healing that God has blessed her with instead. In addition to telling her personal story, which, some readers might already be familiar with, she shares more about her recent battle with cancer.
There were a few things that stood out to me as I was reading. One thing is her memorization of Scripture. She tells of how memory work has helped her tremendously through the years. How foundational it was to her clinging to hope and joy and peace. She shares several verses that have been a big help to her. Romans 15:4, in part, reads "whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope." It's something to keep in mind always. The Bible is a Christian's treasure. God speaks to us through his Word. His promises to us are within the Word. And it is our privilege, our joy to find those promises, to cling to them, to treasure them. Scriptures should be influencing our prayers and our lives. The other thing that stood out to me was the struggle--the fight--against depression and for contentment. She writes about how discouraging thoughts, depression, and boredom can weigh you down, can strip you of joy and peace. Go to God with how you feel, but, don't hold onto those negative feelings, don't meditate on them, dwell on them. Feed instead on the word of God. Let his promises have a place in your heart and mind.
I would definitely recommend this little devotional to believers that enjoy reading devotions.
© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible