Monday, March 2, 2020

23. Suffer Strong

Suffer Strong. Katherine and Jay Wolf. 2020. Zondervan. 224 pages. [Source: Library] [Biography; Christian Nonfiction; Christian Living]

First sentence: Our stories are glorious. They’re also painful, unfair, scary, and almost always quite different from what we thought they would be. Yet it seems that those parts might be the very means through which the glory is most revealed.

Katherine and Jay Wolf continue to share their story, journey, experiences, lessons learned, encouragement with readers. This is the second book together for this husband and wife.

The theme of the book is redefining perspectives, outlooks, and world views. The chapters are alternating narrators.

Redefining limitations
Redefining the past
Redefining celebration
Redefining trauma
Redefining loss
Redefining failure
Redefining beauty
Redefining commitment
Redefining community
Redefining healing
Redefining hope

Pollyanna is often misunderstood and misapplied by our culture and society. This book isn’t about pasting on a happy face and grinning your way through tough times. The joy, hope, and ultimate strength come from faith in the God of the Bible. This isn’t about finding your inner strength and powering through tough situations by speaking what you want into the universe. The book is grounded in Scripture. We may be weak, but He is strong. We may not have the answers, but we can trust in the One who does. We can rest in the sovereignty of God and rest securely in his love knowing that he is working all things for our ultimate good. Not our comfort in the here and now, mind you. Not according to what we think is our ultimate good. Not according to our desires of the moment. Not according to our time of when we want it. But trusting in God, his wisdom, his goodness, his faithfulness, his grace and mercy.

Knowing you can’t do everything is a harsh reality, but it’s also a sweet gift. You couldn’t do it all on your own anyway, and you don’t have to. (25)

It seems that God does give us more than we can handle—sometimes much more. And yet He does this so He can handle it for us and so we can handle it together. (33)

Every story starts with a memory.... I’m convinced that what happens to us in life actually matters far less than how we remember it. Sometimes our memories—and more specifically, the way we remember them—can draw us to a uniquely inspiring way of looking toward our future. Through this lens, we get to tell a whole new kind of story and remember a new kind of future. (37)

Just because your pain might not be the worst-case scenario doesn’t mean it’s not still pain. None of us need to apologize to anyone, ourselves included, for the stories we’ve been given. There will always be harder stories than ours, and there will always be easier ones. For some reason, we’ve been given the one we’ve been given, and it’s up to us to figure out why and, more importantly, what we are going to do with it. In the big scheme of things, our worst stuff falls under a great umbrella of all the worst stuff. That collective worst stuff was bad enough that God himself died to make it all not so one day. Our personal trauma matters to God, because all the traumas ever felt matter to God. (70)

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

1 comment:

Gretchen said...

"Pollyanna is often misunderstood and misapplied by our culture and society. This book isn’t about pasting on a happy face and grinning your way through tough times."

That is so true. I recently read Pollyanna for the first time and loved it! It is about recognizing that even in the bad times or times that are different than you think they should be, you focus on what is good in the situation. Because we serve a good God who gives good things to those who love him.

This sounds like an encouraging read.

Thanks for the review.