A debut guide to the redemptive power of suffering, as seen through the prism of the book of Job.
In this Christian-themed book, Grose chooses the single most challenging biblical tale on the subject of suffering: the story of Job, in which the titular righteous, wealthy, and pious man from Uz becomes the subject of a heavenly wager. Satan taunts God with the idea that if faithful Job were sufficiently tormented, he would curse the name of the Lord. God then gives Satan permission to destroy Job’s life, and so the man’s business collapses, his children and servants die, and he suffers from boils and sores. Still, he refuses to curse God. In carefully planned, very approachable chapters, Grose links this familiar story to tales of tragedy that he’s heard from parishioners over the years, including stories of illnesses and disasters such as Hurricane Katrina. “I wish you didn’t need this book,” he writes, addressing the reader directly, “but I’ve written it because I know you do.” The author carries this holistic tone throughout the book, which will prove invaluable to Christian readers enduring tragedies of their own. “Risky as it may feel, with Job you may need to express your anger, fear, and even rage to God directly,” he writes, referring to the fact that Job eventually breaks down and demands from God an explanation of his tragedies. Job is never given an explanation in his own story, which is slightly problematic for Grose’s book; when the author writes that God “brings [Job] through” his tragedies into a new life, he’s being extremely optimistic, as God was absent during Job’s sufferings. In the end, however, Grose says that he makes no excuses for the God of the book of Job, and this is a wise move.
A pragmatic, uplifting examination of the role that tragedy plays in people’s lives.