On the last and greatest day of the Feast, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.” (John 7:37-38)
Persevering in the face of hardship is just that–hard! Drawing close to the Lord as your body heals, however, gives light and strength to the mind and body and lifts the soul and spirit to new heights. These are the Top 10 books that helped me to feel God’s loving presence during my recovery and strengthened my determination to heal according to nature’s design.
1) The Upside of Adversity by Os Hillman. Subtitled “Rising from the Pit to Greatness”, this book was the most revealing as to how God can use the troubles of our lives to build our characters and bless others.
2) The Blessings of Brokenness by Charles Stanley. Subtitled “Why God Allows Us to Go Through Hard Time,” this little volume shows how God picks up the pieces of a life fully given to Him and weaves them into a rich tapestry that we would otherwise never know.
3) Battlefield of the Mind by Joyce Meyer. In this book, Joyce Meyer teaches how to “deal with the thousand of thoughts you have every day and focus your mind to think the way God thinks.”
4) Ruthless Trust by Brennan Manning. Subtitled, “The Ragamuffin’s Path to Trust”, this book” shows us how true and radical trust in God can transform our lives.”
5) The Problem of Pain by C.S. Lewis. This book, written by the author of the Chronicles of Narnia, explores and answers the intellectual problem raised by human suffering with sympathy and realism, using logic and imagination.
6) Wrestling With God by Rick Diamond. On the journey that “leads to deep trust in a radically loving–but not tame–God”, we find that we don’t have to be in control. Through the intimacy of wrestling with God, we learn the strength of His embrace and the intensity of His love for us.
7) Finding Freedom from Your Fears by H. Norman Wright. In this book, Dr. Wright, a Christian counselor gives practice techniques and exercises for understanding and releasing our fears and for establishing “worry-free” patterns in one’s life.
8) Simple Acts of Moving Forward by Vinita Hampton Wright. On days when I felt “stuck”, this delightful book got me “unstuck”, feeling better, and moving forward!
9) The Book of Courage by Matthew Kelly. This book is filled with quotations–excerpts from the writings of men and women who inspired the author to live more courageously. I love this quotation by the author himself: “The measure of your life will be the measure of your courage.” When you feel down, this book will renew your courage and fill you with hope.
10) The Joy Diet by Martha Beck. Subtitled “10 Daily Practices for a Happier Life,” this book first struck me as a little strange. However, after I tried the first two of the daily practices, I was sold! The ten menu items include: Nothing, Truth, Desire, Creativity, Risk, Treats, Play, Laughter, Connection, and Feasting. The Joy Diet was “designed not for the body but for the soul,” but I believe the joy it has brought me affects my body for the better, too!