Word-y Gifts for Christian Faith & Life


June, 2018


Wilderness: Understanding & Getting Through God’s Testing Season                        

The book may not be about me, but I’m certain I couldn’t have written it had I not been “in the wilderness.” I had been writing a commentary on faith in modern societies when I realized my interest in the topic was driven not by detached intellectual curiosity but rubber-meets-the-road-how-do-I-get-through-this desperation brought on by an unexpected and rather savage bout of unemployment.

The writing became an intimate Bible study about how Christians are to understand and navigate times of severe testing. Because the topic is difficult and deeply personal, I knew the book had to be honest if it were to be meaningful. I thus focused on the thoughts, feelings and vulnerabilities of fifteen Bible characters as they navigated difficult trials and drew lessons from their stories. My seesawing emotions helped me understand how David could in one breath be singing a love song to God and in the next angrily praying for the destruction of his enemies, and how Jesus, who knew God intimately, died feeling forsaken. The confusion brought on by my disappointments enabled me to better understand why John the Baptist, of all people, would ask Jesus “are you the one?” And, in my utter exhaustion, I appreciated why Elijah sat under a tree and asked God to take his life. In examining these stories, I learned, among many lessons, why it is never a good idea to make big decisions in the wilderness even as I felt the pressure to do the opposite.

Throughout the book, I wrestled with how believers try to reconcile their beliefs about God with their struggles as they move towards goals they may no longer see clearly, while holding onto God, whose ways are often beyond understanding. I situated my study of the wilderness in the broader context of God’s dealings with his people, demonstrated its importance in the life of faith and offered practical tips on how to navigate it. Those who read the book will likely find it informative, thoughtful and inspirational.

(** This book is no longer available on Amazon and currently under revision.)


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