“Just as smooth seas don't create skilled sailors, an easy life has no power to purify us and make us stronger,” King writes. “Hard times, on the other hand, have the power to transform us in ways that no other force could.” (17)
That might not be exactly what we want to hear. But King learned that truth above through experience. He shares his own story. He was called to preach at age fourteen. He was mentored and his life was blessed. Fast forward twenty years. He was now a husband and dad. His intense learning experience began when he received the telephone call that his mother was at emergency. Then he found out she died. He was traveling out of country and was stuck. He felt his life was out of his control.
That was the first of a number of deaths in his immediate family in a short amount of time. King shares the lessons he learned from the pain, the crippling depression and the anxiety. He realized that brokenness shows how fragile we are and how much we must depend on God's strength. He learned of his own weakness. He reached the end of his own ability and learned about humility. He also learned the meaning of true strength.
I am impressed with the teaching in this book. It contains a good balance of stories from King's life and teaching from the Bible. I like his insights as to why we go through painful times. His section on understanding was particularly good. I also really liked his teaching about sharing our stories and why it is important to do so. Sharing our vulnerable times has the ability to inspire and encourage others. I really appreciated his teaching on worship and glory too.
This is a book that offers hope and promise and encouragement to those of us in hard times. It helps us see the bigger picture and purpose God has in mind. As King reminds us, nobody gets an exemption from hard times. I recommend this book as a great source of understanding and encouragement. It's a good book for pastors and others who help those going through hard times as well.
Food for thought:
“Weakness is a welcome sign hanging on the door of our lives, inviting God inside.” (20)
“Your current trial is your future testimony, so don't hesitate to tell your story.” (81)
Clayton King was born to a teen mother who chose adoption over abortion. He converted to faith in Christ at age fourteen and began speaking in prisons, churches, and public school assemblies. He began traveling internationally in high school. He is the founder of Crossroads Summer Camps and Crossroads Missions. He is also president of Clayton King Ministries, a non-profit ministry and humanitarian organization. He is a distinguished professor of evangelism at Anderson University, a teaching pastor at NewSpring Church, and the author of twelve books. For more information, visit www.claytonking.com, www.cowithcr.com, and www.crossroadssummercamp.com.
Baker Books, 240 pages.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of an independent and honest review.