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Friday, March 28, 2014

Book Review: When God Breaks Your Heart by Ed Underwood

From the publisher: Why is God letting this happen to me? If you have never asked this question, you someday will.

There is perhaps no greater challenge to our faith than personal suffering. For pastor Ed Underwood this challenge came in the form of chronic leukemia. Though he prayed for and believed in God's healing, as the days slipped by and his pain became unbearable, Ed's heart was broken by a simple realization: The God who could do anything was not helping him. Yet a revelation from God's Word changed his heart and life forever.
Nancy's Review:
This book appealed to me on a very personal level. Some titles just speak to you. Some journeys you must experience. It adjusts your perspective and makes you better.

What a book. What a life changing experience to read it. It's easy to believe in God when life is going well, when you're well-fed and well-rested and full of love; but what about when life is hard? What if you spend your life helping others, only to be turned down for healing for yourself. Ed Underwood had faith, real faith, not some ‘when things are okay’ kind of faith – real faith, deep abiding faith. Then the unthinkable happened, he was so sick and in such pain for so long that it changed him. We are talking ‘your skin is peeling off your body’ pain. The ‘out of your mind with hurt’ kind of pain. And you pray. And you keep the faith. And you wait. And wait. And wait.

Of all people, why in the world is God not answering your prayers for healing, help, and relief? Really, God? After all I’ve done, continued to do, as faithful as I have been? It is hard to believe when that is all you have ever known, all you have ever done is pray and keep the faith. But it is not about you.

What happens when you lose your faith? When do you make that decision? When you have hurt enough? Too much? What goes through your mind that day, that fateful day, when you say “I give up, God, I’m done”? That is when you have reached true acceptance of what is. And yes, it is depressing. You finally say, “I cannot do this anymore.” And if you are truly blessed, (and Ed was), that is when the person beside you, your spouse, your friend, your parent, or your child says, “You can’t give up. God is still good. And if you can’t go any farther, I can. I’ll carry this load; I’ll pray; I’ll do it for you.” And they carry us through it. Our faith returns. Sometimes we just need a break from the pain.

I’ve never suffered this kind of physical pain and I am thankful. But I have suffered this kind of emotional pain. And when I tried to say, “I’m done, He isn’t listening”, I was blessed by a husband who said, “You can’t give up. God is still good. And if you can’t go any farther, I can. I’ll carry this load; I’ll pray; I’ll do it for you.” And he did. My faith returned. I just needed a break from the pain, for someone else to carry it a while.

Ed’s story, written similarly to the story of Job, will challenge, encourage and light the way for countless other Christians who ask their own set of "whys" amidst tragedy and pain. Discover fresh hope through the story of Lazarus. Underwood closely examines the emotional components of this intimate relationship and how Jesus used His friend's death to glorify God and draw Mary and Martha closer to Him. It’s not about us. It’s about glorifying God and being drawn closer to Him.

About the Author : Ed Underwood is the pastor of Church of the Open Door, a ministry dedicated to helping people fulfill their purpose in life. He is a graduate of Dallas Theological Seminary and has served as an officer in the United States Army and a firefighter for the U.S. Forest Service. Ed and his family reside in southern California.

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