Yesterday, I received a sample copy of my book. I had been expecting it, but, after 12 years, to see the finished product lifted my spirits. I’m excited for me, but also for you, because it’s a book that can help you. That’s why I wrote it.
So what kept me going through all the work: learning to write, interviewing, getting critiqued by editors I paid, and my terror? I tell people it’s like being pregnant; I have to give birth. I wanted to give hope to people in tragedy from a relevant, but difficult, book of God’s word. I wanted to facilitate, if possible even accelerate, their recovery. I wanted Scripture to touch people where they live, in fact, in the worst life situations. I believed the book of Job was written to help us through doubt, fear, and discouragement at God’s silence. But understanding the book of Job can tax even the scholar. It is complicated in structure, and argumentative in tone, with round after round of people talking past each other. Therefore, I sought to simplify the book without oversimplifying it. I wanted to show how the experience of Job connects with people today; in fact with all human suffering, especially innocent suffering. It connects with yours.
One other drive motivated me: my legacy. I wanted to leave something valuable to people when I die. I’m grateful to God for the health He’s given me to bring this book to successful completion. So many people younger than me have died. This writing project gives me something to live for, something to leave behind to help others. Job refers to death many times, but one reference especially intrigues me. In 30:23, he refers to death as “the house assigned to all living.” No one escapes a visit to this “house.” When we’re young we avoid or deny the thought of our death, but as we grow older, the reality of death becomes more and more real. So what will our life add up to? What is your legacy?
What’s inside? Each chapter begins with a story of someone today whose life, through tragedy, has been changed forever. I then show how their experience connects with Job’s. Job is our universal model for disaster; that’s how we remember him: losing employees, businesses, children, health and wealth. But he shows a remarkable recovery from depression, anger with God, fear, and grief. In the end, The Lord confronts him (and us) with realities which bring transformation. At the end of each chapter I also include a section on “How can I live with my (depression, e.g.)?” and “How can I move on?” I provide self-help suggestions to help the reader move through recovery into transformation. Chapter 6 is unusual in its first-hand account of a man with severe mental illness, and how he benefitted from working with a therapist. His extreme fear matches that of Job.
I’d Like to Meet You
I’ve set the book Launch in coordination with Dr. Gregg Borror, our pastor at Mountain Park Church, Lake Oswego, OR. On Sunday, May 31, I’ll bring the message from the book of Job at 9:30 a.m., with a brunch and book-signing to follow. The church is located at the corner of McNary and Jefferson Parkways at the top of Mountain Park. I’ll look for you.