We are avid readers and we enjoy sharing reviews of books that have significantly touched our lives. Renewal For The Wounded Warrior by Loren Sandford is one of those reads that has had profound impact on our lives. We got enough from the introduction of the book to cover the cost of what we paid for the book!
In the Forward James Goll writes, “Sometimes before you can get the right answer, you have to ask the right question. But often in today’s instant success, fast food, pseudo-Chrisitian, churchianity society, we are afraid even to admit we have a problem, let alone ask the right question. Sometimes we live in the longest river of the world: Denial.
Ever get the cart ahead of the horse? Put doing ministry ahead of ministering to the Lord? Come to the realization that you are serving the promotion of your own ministry instead of having an honest-to-God real relationship with your Maker and Creator?
“…truth be known, we have all walked down that path in one season or another. Each of us needs to learn to take an honest assessment of our lives, our fruit, our expenditure. Jesus called it counting the cost before building the tower.”
We have learned many lessons through our experiences of personal and ministry burnout. We have trudged through several wilderness experiences and we have also been blessed to experience the dark night of the soul and all its benefits. As Loren explains, “burnout caused mostly by our performance based attitudes serves only to soften us up for the deeper things God really has in store. The wilderness and dark night of the soul is a time of suffering and loss sent by the hand of God to deal with the deep reaches of our nature and character, even the parts we had forgotten or that we thought had been well sanctified.”
Many within the Body of Christ today do not have room in their theology for the concept of redemptive suffering. Therefore they seldom deal well with those who suffer for extended periods of time. Loren says, and we concur, “few counselors, much less the Body of Christ at large, truly understand the problem unless they have lived it.”
Often those who are involved in redemptive suffering experience overwhelming guilt and condemnation from those in the Body of Christ who do not understand this process. Those suffering from it need loads of compassion and encouragement and “a theology that makes sense of redemptive suffering, not a performance-orientated system of religious thought laced with condemnation for failure. The suffering must be lifted and carried in a tender way that gives much and asks little,” Sandford writes.
There is great news “for those teetering on the brink, bleeding and fearful – clergy, lay leaders and believers struggling with life’s tests. You are not alone and God has a merciful plan to move you through the wilderness and into your promised land. God has not abandoned you. You have not lost your anointing or His presence. You many not be able to sense the direction or the outcome, but God is moving you toward glory.”
This work is especially helpful to clergy, lay leaders and the many who are deeply affected by stress or despair, no matter what walk of life they occupy. Anyone who suffers the effects of long-term stress from any cause will find something useful here.