If God is good, there has to be a way through...even something as devastating as MS. I determined to find all the good I could along this path. Jesus knows His way around the wilderness--He has been there. He walks Through The Wilderness with us. These are some of the treasures I found.
Reviewer: Laura J. Davis
When I first started reading Through the Wilderness by Carol A. Brown I was immediately overwhelmed. Why? It felt like she had written the book just for me! As Carol described her symptoms of MS and her emotions that followed her diagnosis, I was taken back to the day I was diagnosed with an incurable disease and her words were like a balm to my soul. In fact, the first chapter was packed with so much that I could identify with (even though we had totally different diseases) I had to put the book down just to absorb and meditate on what I had just read.
The author lists the book as a devotional, but I would list it more as Christian Living/Self-Help because there is a lot of advice and wisdom in this book to help one get through those wilderness experiences we all go through in our journey with the Lord. Each chapter will take you through something the author has learned from the Lord in relation to her illness. The most impressive was her experience of how God spoke to her through clay and pottery. This spoke to me the most. At the end of each chapter are some of the most insightful questions I've ever seen in a book, that will no doubt bring you closer to examining your spiritual life and relationship with the Lord. Every chapter is followed by a beautiful prayer. It is the questions and the prayer, along with each individual chapter that make this book a "one-chapter a day" kind of thing. You need to sit and contemplate your journey in relation to the questions put before you.
I discovered through Carol's questions how remarkable her attitude was as opposed to my own when she received her diagnosis. While I felt like I had been punched in the gut when my diagnosis came, my reaction was one of, "Okay, that's one more thing to deal with...moving on." Carol on the other hand, decided that she wanted to learn everything the Lord could teach her through her disease. Thus began a time of prayer, meditation and contemplation.
She began to look at MS with a spiritual mindset. Something I failed to do. I never once thought there was something I could actually learn from my disease. Whereas Carol asked God for clarity on just about everything, to help her grow into the beautiful vessel (despite MS) He was creating. If you are struggling with where God has you (especially if it is in a place of illness) you need to pick up this book! Carol uses the analogy of the potter and the clay (Jeremiah 18) quite well. There are so many steps to take before we become the people God created us to be and sometimes we need to "sit on the shelf" like a clay pot. As Carol says, "Once a pot is formed it sits on the shelf. Then when it becomes leather hard, it is taken back to the wheel and trimmed to its final shape. This is a time when any carving or decorating is done. " She goes on to explain that the drying shelf is an essential preparation for the fire. And we need our times on the shelf! Because, as Carol says, "It helps us to be adequately prepared for the fire of our next assignment. And we need the fire so that we can become what we were designed to be!"
If you are going through a difficult time right now and you need the assurance that God is aware and working in your life, or you just need to hear from "someone who has been there", then I urge you to pick up a copy of Through the Wilderness, so that you can begin to see your trials through spiritual eyes and become the vessel God intends you to be!