Book Review – “God’s Provision in Tough Times”

God’s Provision in Tough Times

What a sweet title, but what a harrowing read. It is an honest book for people walking one step at a time with knots in their stomachs. Like caregivers.

The subtitle tells all: 25 True Stories of God’s Provision During Unemployment and Financial Despair

Author La-Tan Roland Murphy lines up twenty five short testimonies, including some of her own. One after another, the authors share their worst experiences with every imaginable financial nightmare. Lost jobs, bad decisions, chased pipe dreams, family betrayals, misreads of God’s will, disabilities and more are the raw material of the book.

These stories are relentlessly authentic. Several contributors are transparent about their own contributions to the disasters they suffered. Others bare their emotional struggles. And there’s honesty about the challenges to their relationships and even to their faith,

As we sat around the table, the four of us formed a circle by holding hands, and Tim began the prayer. “Lord, we’re grateful for this Easter Sunday and our risen Lord. We thank You for the many years our family has spent in this beautiful house—the house You gave us. Please be with our family as we leave our home.”

Weeping interrupted Tim’s prayer. Justin pushed his dinner plate to the center of the table and laid his head upon his arms. His body shook with emotion.

“Stop, Tim. Just say amen.” My voice quivered.

Pushing her chair away from the table, Megan ran upstairs to her room.

“But I’m praying for us.”

“We can’t pray right now. We’re in too much pain.”

Lifting his head, Justin whispered, “I can’t eat.” He left the table and ran upstairs to his room.

The good news is that all of the authors found blessing in the midst of their ordeals.

In some, but by no means all of the situations, a near miraculous provision took place in the form of an out of the blue job offer or sudden arrival of unexpected money.

But in most of the testimonies, the decisive factor was a change of perspective,

Though my circumstances didn’t change overnight, God began to change me. He changed my perspective from loss to gain. He began to lift the veil that blocked my joy and allowed me to catch a glimpse of His heavenly perspective. He showed me how my husband’s absence from our home allowed him to spend time with his mother in the last year of her life. Additionally, our trying circumstances gave our oldest son an opportunity to develop leadership skills before going out into the world, as he took on many of my husband’s responsibilities. The Lord also established our marriage on a firmer foundation; we became much more of a team. Many weekends, when my husband came home, I had to go to Georgia to be with my ailing father. We could identify with each other’s pain on a deep and personal level and support one another with compassion.

“We” is a prominent word in the transformations that take place. Many of the testimonies show how crises compelled spouses to pull together, not only in effort, but in affection and prayer. Relationships are a key arena for victory in these stories.

Released just this year, God’s Provision in Tough Times is a timely offering in our challenging economy. It touches problems encountered by all kinds of people, and which are all too familiar among caregivers.

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