The Sweet Side of Suffering by Esther Lovejoy. Published by Discovery House Publishers, 2013. Available in paperback & Kindle.
I decided to read The Sweet Side of Suffering because I wanted to dig deeper into what it means to find the “silver lining” of infertility. The book doesn’t focus on infertility, but the author does mention several times that she did have trouble conceiving a child.
Unlike so many books on the topic of suffering, this one doesn’t come across as cliche or sugar-coated. Readers aren’t encouraged to gloss over their pain or deny the hardship they’re facing. Lovejoy tells of several difficult times in her life, and she fully acknowledges the depth of her pain.
But Lovejoy doesn’t dwell too long on her experiences. The book really comes to life as she shares Biblical examples of good resulting from suffering. I felt like I was sitting down to Bible study and coffee with a wise, God-fearing woman. She shares her thoughts on hope, trust, fear, patience, spiritual warfare, and renewing our minds. Here are a few of my favorite passages:
On Our Attitude During Hard Circumstances
“The book of Habakkuk ends with a complete change of attitude on the prophet’s part. His complaining turned to rejoicing, not because of a change in his circumstances, but because he had heard from God.”
On Choosing Our Response to Suffering
“At times of suffering we have three choices: We can rebel against what has happened to us and become angry and bitter. We can resign ourselves to the inevitable with a sense of helplessness. Or we can yield to the purposes of a loving heavenly Father and discover the sweetness of that surrender.”
On the Difference Between Resignation & Surrender
“It’s important here to make a distinction between resignation and surrender. Resignation says, ‘Oh well!’ Surrenders says, ‘Okay!’ Only surrender offers hope. Only surrender offers peace.”
On Trusting God’s Timing
“…God will not delay, nor will He be rushed. While we are wearily waiting He is working in ways we can’t see or know. So our trust is based on God’s own assurance that when the time is right, He won’t make us wait any longer…”
Wow! Can you see why I feel so blessed to have read this during this period of infertility? These are all things that I need to be reminded of on a daily, sometimes hourly, basis.
I highly recommend The Sweet Side of Suffering to anyone experiencing a difficult time.
Disclosure: I received a complimentary digital review copy of this book in exchange from Net Galley in exchange for my honest opinion. The Amazon links in this post are affiliate links. If you purchase an item from Amazon via the links in this post, I receive a small commission (at no extra charge to you).
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