Holding onto Hope
By Nancy Guthrie
Books written by human hand and by divine inspiration are of so much comfort to the grieving soul. Often I don’t know what I’m feeling or don’t have the words to describe my inner yearnings or agonies, but someone else who has been there before has found the words. They often have word pictures and visual images that resonate deep within.
The Bible is the book of divine inspiration I was referring too and there too are the only words of true comfort I find. Verses that I’ve read many times before now hold a deeper and richer meaning. Feelings have been awoken that I’ve never had before and scripture addresses those, spot on. God’s word is living and active. Only living word could reach my inmost being like the words of my Holy God.
Holding on to Hope is one of the books written by earthy man, or actually woman, that has met me in my grief. A friend recommended the book and then went and purchased it for me as a gift. I’m so grateful. I cried through some of the chapters as I heard my own thoughts penned out on the pages.
The author, Nancy Guthrie lost two babies 6 months after their birth to a devastatingly rare genetic disease. She writes of her sorrow and loss of baby Hope and baby Gabriel. Her wisdom and way with words drew me in. She walked through the story of Job applying her sorrow, and my pain to the horrifyingly worse story of Job.
Job lost all of his living, grown children, lost his home, his livestock, his fields and his health. Through it he questioned God’s ways, but never lost his faith. Avi was born still in January of 2015 and in March and April Pastor Mark did a 7 week sermon series in Job (the links to the recordings are listed below.). I had just finished the book and it was so reaffirming, encouraging and made me see Job in a totally different light. I had always loved the book of Job in the past, but now it holds a deeper place in my heart.
A verse I’ve always held onto was Job 1:21: “The Lord gives and the Lord takes away, blessed be the name of the Lord.” It’s so special to me that I had the last portion of it incorporated into the tattoo I had done in memory of my lost children and in celebration of the children I have on this earth and my wonderful husband, given to me by God.
As Guthrie states on page 16 and 17,
“As Job responded to calamity in His life, he fell to the ground before God in worship… Job chose to do what was right rather than to focus completely on his feelings…Often, worship is a matter of obedience… when I make the choice to be obedient, God changes my feelings.”
I want this to be true of me…’Blessed be the name of the Lord.’
Sermon Series in Job:
No End in Sight: Job’s Test
No End in Sight: Job’s Lament
No End in Sight: Job’s Miserable Comforts
No End in Sight: Job’s Confidence
No End in Sight: Job’s Response
No End in Sight: Job’s God
No End in Sight: Job’s Restoration