Can a Person Hurt and Feel Joy?

Eventually, everyone feels physical pain, mostly temporary and not debilitating, but the kind of discomfort described in Peace in the Midst of Pain is another matter. Author, Alice McGhee, takes us into her life in such a way that we almost experience the pain that she has endured from fibromyalgia and degenerative disc disease. And not only does her journey include the physical aspects of suffering but also the emotional ones. The terror of almost dying in a car accident. The stress of watching a loved one pass into the afterlife. We feel as though we have endured parts or all of her life.

But the book isn’t just about pain. It is about how pain can squelch the human spirit but how the Spirit of God can bring balance and restoration. This peace that she describes has little or nothing to do with feeling good or getting delivered from the affliction. Rather, it’s the true peace that transcends circumstances. Even if life crises go from bad to worse, she shows life not only goes on, it can go on victoriously.

Peace in the Midst of Pain is also about hope. McGhee’s honesty does not overwhelm because she shares stories from the Bible, lyrics from favorite hymns, and personal lessons that have brought her the strength that it takes to make it. The prophets Elijah and Jonah despaired at their aloneness, but God spoke to their deepest need. The young man, Joseph, was sold as a slave, falsely accused, thrown in prison, and then elevated to fame and power in Egypt. These are just a few examples that Mcghee pulls from the Bible about people who heard from God through hardship.

Peace in the Midst of Pain is raw, real, and refreshing. A wonderful read for a quiet afternoon or a series of short chapters to be read in a 30-day period.

BOLA TANGKAS