Finding Purpose Beyond our Pain by Paul Meier and David Henderson

November 21, 2009 | By | Add a Comment

“I will not cause pain without allowing something new to be born”, says the Lord.Isaiah 66:9, NCV

This is a good little book.  Actually, at 281 pages, it isn’t so little.  With sections on injustice, rejection, loneliness, loss, discipline, failure and death, the book covers a lot of ground.  Authors Paul Meier, M.D. and David L. Henderson, M.D. aim to help readers find purpose in the midst of struggles.  They do a solid job at achieving this goal.

The book primarily focuses on emotional and relational rather than physical pain.  It is overtly Christian and includes many scriptures as the authors argue their case.  The reader is encouraged to disengage in activities which lead to unnecessary pain and embrace the suffering which cannot be avoided.  The primary reason is that suffering leads to growth.

The book is well organized and includes summaries and reflection questions at the end of each topical section.  It is of the cookbook variety, so the reader can go straight to the struggle he or she is in the midst of  dealing with.

As someone who received a degree in counseling from a Christian school and has read other books by Meier (and his compatriots Henry Cloud and John Townsend), I was familiar with the information presented.  I can’t say that I encountered much new material, save for light coverage on more current topics such as the struggling economy and social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter.  The short stories and anecdotes were fresh to me and I found these to be especially interesting and inspirational.

Overall, I found this to be a good, if not spectacular resource.  The authors treat each section with care and sensitivity and provide comfort for those in pain.  For those familiar with Meier and friends, it is a book that offers good reminders more than new concepts.  It does not go into extraordinary depth on each topic, but more than enough depth to be helpful.

Rating: 4/5

This book was provided for review by the Thomas Nelson Publishing Group.  To learn more about or purchase this book on Amazon, click here.

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