“Wrestling with the Mysteries of Suffering, Pain, and God’s Sovereignty” is an apt subtitle for this book, for just like Jacob wrestled with God many centuries ago, Joni has been wrestling with God for decades, ever since she took that dive into a too shallow lake as a teenager and became a quadriplegic.
Joni doesn’t speak on suffering & healing as a lofty theologian, or as some shallow social commentator, but as a real woman who has walked through real suffering and pain for all her adult life. Unlike many sufferers, however, she has developed a rock-solid conviction of both God’s love for her and God’s sovereignty over her quadriplegia. This fusion of personal experience with Biblical truth is what makes this book so powerful.
She starts the book with a quote by John Stott: “The fact of suffering undoubtedly constitutes the single greatest challenge to the Christian faith.” She then launches headlong into a discussion of the question of healing and God, both personally and theologically. Further chapters discuss the benefits of suffering, how the sufferer can bring God glory, regaining perspective, and the impact of suffering on the Kingdom of God.
The title of her final chapter is a phrase she has earnestly repeated over the years: “Thank you, God, for this wheelchair.” In it she opens her heart to say that she really is content, for contentment is “realizing that God has already given (me) everything that (I) need for my present happiness… If there were anything more that I needed, God would have given it to me.”
A Place of Healing is a rich treasure of wisdom & comfort to share with anyone who is struggling with any kind of suffering. Highly recommended.