March 24th, 2010
Guthrie, Nancy. Be Still, My Soul: Embracing God’s Purpose & Provision in Suffering. Wheaton: Crossway Books, 2010. 176 pp. $12.99. Purchase at Westminster Books.
Nancy Guthrie needs no introduction to readers here at Christian Book Notes. She has quickly become one of my favorite devotional writers (or editor as the case may be) today. Her books, Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus and Jesus, Keep Me Near the Cross have blessed me (and many others) during Christmas and Easter. Her book, Hearing Jesus Speak Into Your Sorrow, was used by God as a sweet balm to the soul of my wife during a difficult time in our lives. You can purchase Nancy’s books at Westminster.
This 25 day devotional is very similar in approach to her other two devotionals, Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus and Jesus, Keep Me Near the Cross, in that she pulls from various theologians and writers to take the reader on a multi-faceted journey through suffering. This time she draws from men like Philip Yancey, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, and Abraham Kuyper as well as women like Helen Roseveare and Corrie Ten Boom. Many familiar names are present as well. Great saints like Lloyd-Jones, Edwards, Spurgeon, Piper, and Luther.
She divides this devotional into three parts. The first parts spends nine days looking at God’s perspective on suffering. The second part takes you on an eight day journey learning about God’s purpose in suffering. The third and final section is another eight day journey spent at the foot of throne of God understanding His provision in suffering.
After spending twenty-five days drinking in the wisdom of the ages by many great divines who have suffered much for the gospel, you will have a more God-centered understanding of what and why you must go through suffering.
After having read Hearing Jesus Speak Into Your Sorrow and knowing a little about her own sufferings, Be Still, My Soul has a much deeper meaning. Granted, Nancy did not write these devotionals herself, but it seems abundantly clear to me that she drank deeply from the well of God’s providence and provision during her season of suffering and this is the outpouring of what she learned. I highly recommend Be Still, My Soul as well as anything else written by Nancy to any man or woman who calls upon the name of Christ as both Lord and Savior. Even more, this particular devotion would be excellent to give to one who may be grieving or dealing with a season of suffering apart from Christ.