Monday, February 27, 2012

When the Hurt Runs Deep, by Kay Arthur

I'm going to do something I don't usually do today and highlight a book I haven't completely read. (I skimmed it fairly thoroughly for different themes and aspects but I didn't delve into it with incredible detail.)

I accepted a copy of When the Hurt Runs Deep:
Healing and Hope for Life's Desperate Moments for review because I liked Kay Arthur's book As Silver Refined (which I read and reviewed in August last year.) As Silver Refined was my first exposure to Arthur and on the whole I liked it. I was happy to give her another go-around and I want to be quick to say that I did not regret accepting this book. I just couldn't delve into very thoroughly and I'll explain why in a minute.

First though, let me say that if you are hurting from a particular pain (a horrible broken relationship, the death of a loved one, a violation of self, etc.) then I would recommend this book. There is nothing in it that causes me hesitation in referring it to a person in need. Arthur approaches the topic of pain and hurt from a Biblical perspective and kindly walks her reader through her arguments for God's sovereignty, His love and His holiness. I have no issues with her presentation, with the way she explained and applied scriptures, (I think her theology is quite sound!), and the way she offers hope to her readers.

In When the Hurt Runs Deep Arthur uses the Biblical stories and examples of Joseph, Job and Daniel to point out God's sovereign control in our lives and how He truly works all things together for good. (She's quick to point out that He didn't promise to use "good things" to work out the good in our lives. She admonishes/encourages her readers to understand that Christians will endure trials and tribulations. Then she points out the fact that Jesus also endured trials and understands our pain.

"Jesus understands your suffering, your pain . . . the hurt that runs deep.
Have you ever truly thanked Him for what He suffered for you? If not, why don't you open your Bible and read Psalm 22 and thank Him for so great a love.
Do it now, beloved of God. Let all that He suffered on your behalf be a healing salve to your heart.
And remember this:
When the hurt runs deep, God's love is deeper still."
(Chapter 17, How Can Jesus Possibly Understand Your Pain, page 176)

She encourages the reader to fix their eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of their faith. She urges this that they may be strengthened for their particular trial as well as to encourage them and heal their wounds.

The only reason I didn't end up reading this book in concentrated detail was because she gives real-life examples of real-life hurt that were disturbing (to me) to read. I don't want to go around comparing pain in people's lives (neither does she) because I've come to the point in life where I realize that we do not do each other any favors when we try to compare scars. We all have them. The sooner we agree to that point, the sooner we can learn to relate to one another in an honest, truthful and loving manner. That said, the examples she gives of individuals suffering from various hurts were a little too detailed for me. Arthur describes various wounds (i.e., a rape, a murder, a suicide, etc.) that painted such a vivid mental picture in my head that I found myself more wrapped up in the story she told than the truth she was trying to point out. After I'd read through a passage giving an example of a bad thing that happened, I just kept visualizing what she had described. Since the examples were coming rather fast and furious, it just got to be too much for me so I decided that it was in my personal best interest to skim this book and present the gist of what she was trying to say instead of reading it word for word.

I do think that this book is helpful to the reader who is experiencing pain and trying to find God in their distress. This book is a very useful tool to that end and I highly recommend it, knowing that there are numerous Christian individuals out there wearing masks to hide their scars and who are in desperate need of hope and truth. Arthur provides those things through the clear presentation of scripture and I'm left with no objections.

Thanks, Waterbrook Multnomah for sending a copy of this book my way and for making this resource available for those who need it.


Barbara H. said...

I think I might have the same response. That's one reason I avoided "In the Presence of My Enemies" for so long, but once I did read it I was blessed by it. Sometimes I can take reading of intense suffering and sometimes I can't.

BerlinerinPoet said...

Carrie, you are such a good reader! You really put a lot of thought and analyzing into what you are reading, how you are reading it, and why. Some of your insights, I'm! Why didn't I think of that. :-)
That being said, I'm not sure I'm going to read this one, but I have a friend from school I'd love to get it for. So thanks for the review.

Stephanie Kay said...

I love Kay Arthur. Her Bible studies really make me think. {About to name drop} several years ago I attended a local conference organized by a mentor of mine. Kay was the speaker for the conference. Afterward I was invited with my mentor and a couple of other women to have lunch with Kay. I found her very real and easy to talk with. :)

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