Have you ever gone through a trial that made you question or doubt God?
Ed Underwood has. Underwood’s trial was chronic leukemia that caused prolonged, excruciating pain, more misery than most of us can imagine. He writes about his ordeal in When God Breaks Your Heart: Choosing Hope in the Midst of Faith-Shattering Circumstances.
Like many who go through physical and emotional suffering, Underwood, pastor of a prominent Southerna California church, questioned why God didn't stop the misery. He felt God had stopped caring for him. He began to lose all faith in God, even to the point of considering ending his life.
Through the struggle and despair, Underwood was brought to a study of John chapter 11, the biblical account of Lazarus’ death. God used that Bible passage to heal Underwood’s broken heart and bring him back.
According to the account in John 11, it turns out Lazarus' sisters felt Jesus stopped caring for them and their brother, just the way Underwood felt. Jesus didn't rush to help when he learned Lazarus was deathly ill. He didn't even come until it was too late. "If you had been here, my brother wouldn’t have died,” one of the sisters bitterly told Jesus. Jesus responded to their anger and bitterness with tenderness, drawing closer to them.
From the biblical story, Underwood learned he could bring his honest feelings of abandonment to Jesus, and trust Jesus to be tender with him. Underwood did just that. He experienced Jesus compassionately responding to his despair, and Underwood’s broken heart started to heal.
Unlike many Christian books on suffering, this is a very personal book. You won't find lengthy theological explanations on why God allows suffering. Frankly, it is hard to read the book and learn about the misery the Underwood family experienced. I am in awe at what Underwood endured.
Every suffering person who reads this book will be grateful to Ed Underwood for showing that in the midst of pain and despair, there is hope. To purchase this book, click here.