Heading to Australia – A Journey of Joy and Sorrow

by Christine Sine

Many of you know that Tom and I are on our way to Australia. In fact this post should go live around the time we land and head to my brother’s home for our first few nights. This is my first trip since my mother died and though I am looking forward to it with joy and excitement there is also much sorrow. I know that it is a trip on which laughter and tears will intermingle.

Over the last week, more by coincidence then design, I have been reading Tim Keller’s book Walking With God Through Pain and SufferingI really admire him for addressing this issue and have been mulling over his words as I travel. He points out that the modern viewpoint of individual freedom and pursuit of happiness has no place for sorrow or suffering. Yet suffering and sorrow is an integral part of the Christian story and in fact becomes part of the perfecting process. In talking about the growth of the early church he comments:

The Christian approach to pain and evil with both greater room for sorrow and a greater basis for hope was part of its appeal (42)

I am very much aware of this as I head down to Australia. It is my belief in the resurrection of Christ and in a personal God who desires to restore all things to wholeness, that gives me hope on this trip. The promises of God do not take away my grief but they do temper it with hope.

At times I felt Keller’s approach, suggesting that sorrow and pain can be dealt with just by reading the Bible more and praying, sounded rather superficial, but generally speaking this is a book worth the read.

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4 comments

Coe Hutchison January 17, 2014 - 9:01 pm

Sounds like an interesting book, Christine. Do you know Keller? I am not familiar with him. God bless, Coe.

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charlene January 18, 2014 - 5:17 am

Thanks for sharing. I am going to check out the read. Peace and blessings.

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Christine Sine January 18, 2014 - 4:50 pm

Your welcome Charlene. Coping with sorrow is something we all need to think about.

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Christine Sine January 18, 2014 - 4:42 pm

Coe so good to hear from you. Tim Keller is pastor of a mega church in New York. I think fairly conservative evangelical which probably explains why I enjoyed some of what he wrote in this book but found other parts very shallow. He does talk about how we have lost the ability to lament but otherwise tends to see daily prayer and scripture study as the way to cope with suffering.

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