Reviewed by Paula Lynn McGrew for Readers' Favorite
Clinging to Jesus: Praying and Meditating on God’s Word When You’re in Pain, written by Heather Hart, is a book whose title speaks for itself. Having suffered chronic back, neck, and shoulder pain for 18 years, I related well to Heather’s own story about her migraine headaches that will not go away. She is correct in saying that the longer the pain persists, with little or no relief, the more our faith can suffer. I have experienced that on more than one occasion myself. She illustrates how reading a Psalm and turning it into a personal prayer is an important step in not letting our circumstances come between us and our relationship with Jesus.
The theme of Heather Hart’s book, Clinging to Pain, presents itself in the form of a question: If God is in control, what are we to fear? By renewing our faith in God each day, we can help ourselves get through anything, including pain. She stresses how reading Scripture out loud transfers our focus from suffering to focusing our attention on God and his Son, Jesus, who is never far from me and is never out of reach. Without sounding preachy, Clinging to Pain warmly illustrates the virtues of keeping a prayer journal, listening to worship music, and surrounding myself with Scriptures. That may be in the form of a written note taped to my bathroom mirror, the wallpaper on my computer screen, or a nearby sign or plaque; each verse stands at the ready, a close reminder of God’s sovereignty and comfort in trying times.