This is my year of hope.
My sarcastic nature quickly inserts a “deferred” right after the word hope.
Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.
That is where my mind goes next when I think about how the word hope makes me feel. How I am trying to quiet the one who whispers such lies.
So I turn to the verse, and read it in context.
New International Version (NIV)
11 Dishonest money dwindles away,
but whoever gathers money little by little makes it grow.
12 Hope deferred makes the heart sick,
but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.
13 Whoever scorns instruction will pay for it,
but whoever respects a command is rewarded.
This time it is verse 13 that catches my eye.
I am here to bribe myself into writing this post, this review of a book that I ordered before I was ready. Picked it knowing I wouldn’t make it through the book without some struggles. I am here to heed the instructions and show respect for the Godly commands that are in the book.
Healing Is a Choice by Stephen Arterburn was sent to me months ago. While the edition I received pairs the original text with the workbook, and it tops out over 400 pages, those weren’t the reasons the review didn’t get written.
The book covers 10 topics, or decisions that can be used to guide you towards healing your life. Each choice that is discussed also has a counterpart–the lie that keeps you hurting.The chapters are each followed with the corresponding section from the workbook (which was previously published separately).
I found the workbook sections helpful, even if I was not ready to dive into each question or discussion. However, I felt that if I read straight through–the chapter and then through the workbook section I was disappointed. It felt as though the material was repeated without enough extra or different discussion in the workbook section. So I felt like I was wasting time ‘rereading’ the workbook section. Had I read the workbook parts a week later, it would have been a good review. If these sections were used in a small group it would be a good way to read aloud and summarize the chapter, but reading through both alone felt redundant.
I believe that the book has usefulness beyond the first read. Or even the first group study. The table of contents outlines each of the 10 decisions that need to be examined as you work towards healing. Opening to these pages when you are struggling, you can find the section to read again. The book will give you stories to remind you of where you are headed. It will tie in reminders of where to turn in the word. If you use the workbook, you will also be able to see your progress, and reminders of where you struggle.
Let me leave you with the page I landed on tonight, no doubt a message that I needed to hear.
Give up and start to move with God’s power and strength, and you may find there is tremendous hope. You may find that there is tremendous power you never knew existed, but it is all downstream, and you get to it by working with the river of life, the giver of life, rather than against it.
Do not destroy your life over a big lie. You feel hopeless because you have been using your own power, not because there is no hope.
It is finally time to throw the oar in the river and ride. Hope is downstream waiting for me.
*Booksneeze.com provided this book for me to review. I was not paid for a positive review. All opinions and stories are my own.