This Too Shall Last: Finding Grace When Suffering Lingers

K.J. Ramsey. Zondervan, $18.99 trade paper (224p) ISBN 978-0-310-10725-5
In this contemplative debut, therapist Ramsey, who has an autoimmune disease, explores living with pain and explains that she has a messy “middle story” rather than a tidy “before and after.” Ramsey argues that most Christians believe in God’s ability to heal the body physically and spiritually, and therefore have trouble dealing with long-term suffering. She chronicles her adult life, revealing how suffering exposes self-sufficiency (“Our unique ways of escaping and avoiding suffering are rooted in a self-sufficiency that will never be enough”) and suggesting that though pain may seem like the enemy, not facing it will only create more problems. She includes many moments taken from scripture that detail God’s goodness and also warns against the tendency to minimize or overly spiritualize suffering. Quoting Jesus’s words to his disciples, she refutes the perception that suffering results from a lack of faith: “I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace. You will have suffering in this world.” She also challenges assumptions about repentance (described by Ramsey as self-reflection and commitment to self-betterment) by reframing it through the perspective of grace and communion with God: “repentance is remembering that all of life is an opportunity for communion and choosing to live as such right now.” Christians dealing with pain will appreciate Ramsey’s comforting, candid memoir. (May)
Reviewed on : 02/11/2020
Release date: 05/01/2020
Genre: Religion
MP3 CD - 978-1-79973-393-5
Compact Disc - 978-1-79973-394-2
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