Little Man CryingI’ve been reading a couple of books that I have received free from the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA). The first one was Lessons I Learned in the Dark by Jennifer Rothschild (which I have posted about before here and here) and I just started The Upside of Down by Joseph M. Stowell. The free book this month is Hope Again by Charles Swindoll.* The books are free for the asking, but you can donate if you wish to. Donations are always a good idea. πŸ™‚

The books all share a common theme of having hope when all seems dark. I suppose that makes sense considering the purpose of the BGEA. I am enjoying the books I am reading regardless of their similarities.

In chapter 11 of Lessons I Learned, Jennifer Rothschild likens our eyes to our soul. She says that our eyes cry to cleanse and purify themselves. She says that crying out to God from our soul is like that, too. When we cry out to God, He can cleanse us and purify us. He can strengthen our souls. I really liked that analogy. It’s okay to cry! It’s a good thing to “let it all out”. Jennifer writes,

If we cry tears of bitterness to God over a broken heart, that bitterness cannot become more deeply rooted or spread (because what can grow in the deluge of tears?). When we cry tears of guilt to God over regrettable choices, that guilt cannot grow into depression or anxiety (for the same reason). To allow ourselves to cry to God the tears that only our soul can produce will bring healing as we release everything to Him. (Parenthesis mine)

Isn’t that great? The Upside of Down begins by telling us to look upward (toward God) and Inward (at ourselves and our reaction to what happens). We can control what we look at and what we do and say in reaction to what happens to us. Why should we try to find blame? Why should we ask, “Why did this happen?” in a bitter way? Will that help us to heal? NO!

Well, those are just a few of the thoughts running around in my head. Check out the BGEA website.

*Note: I only know about these authors as far as the books I have read. I have not read Charles Swindoll’s book (yet) and I have heard both good and bad things of him. Please don’t take this as a recommendation for these people, only for those books that I have actually read.