For today’s Thankful Thursday post I am sharing a wonderful new book written by Anne Graham Lotz – Wounded by God’s People: Discovering how God’s love heals our hearts.
I know that yet again this book is a gift straight from God’s hands. I happened to click onto my Facebook news feed and saw Hodder Faith promote it. I saw the title and knew I had to read this book. Thankfully God opened the door for me to be able to review it, and I couldn’t wait for it to arrive through my letter box.
I try to read books quickly for review purposes as there are time constraints, but there are some books, like Anne’s, which are just not possible for me to do this. My readers come first, and I needed time to allow myself to be ministered to as I read the book to review it properly. I took time to prayerfully read it and write down quotes and my thoughts as I reflected on it.
My review below is a mix of what the book is about and my thoughts that I have been reflecting on, as a part of my personal relationship with God, with the hope it will help you too if you have suffered similar things.
The Wounded by God’s People overview
Anne talks about a very sensitive subject, openly talking about her wounds that make you want to run and hug her in her pain. I am very grateful that she was able to share her stories, allowing us to meet with her and see how God helped her through the healing of her pain.
As Anne quite rightly highlights, if there is anyone who understands what it’s like to be rejected by their own people, it is Jesus.
‘Even though He came to His own people, they refused to listen and receive Him.’
John 1:11 The Voice
But in that, we see how this painful rejection was a part of God’s redemptive plan. Something we tend to forget as we try to hold together our broken hearts.
Anne takes the story of Hagar as illustrated in Genesis, as her focus of helping us see how we can receive healing from the wounds we receive. She asks questions such as -
‘Have you been wounded by God’s people too? (P 32)
‘Have you ever felt that you didn’t belong anywhere? (P 34)
She takes us on a journey throughout her book, helpfully putting steps in place for us to move towards healing. Her main message throughout the book is not to reject the God of those who have rejected you (p 18).
As well as taking about being wounded, she also looks at the painful reality of how it’s all too easy to be a wounder too.
List of Contents
Preface: Jesus understands
Introduction: Healing is a journey
The Biblical story of Hagar
1. Loved by God on the Periphery
2. Life is hard
3. The cycle of pain
4. The believer in exile
5. God cares
6. Spiritual blind spots
7. Wounding hurts
8. Rejected by them
9. Wandering in the wilderness
10. God stands by
11. The silence is broken
12. A stubborn spirit
13. The turning point
14. I can see
15. Don’t look back
16. It’s time to move on
Reflecting on the book
I think it would be rare to say that you haven’t been wounded by our sisters and brothers in Christ. None of us are perfect, only Jesus is, but the truth is there is something extra painful about being wounded by a member of our spiritual family.
Being totally honest as I always try to be authentic here, some of my deepest wounds are by Christians. It’s hard for me to write but it’s the truth. I’m not talking about careless words spoken in haste that you can work through fairly swiftly. I’m talking about deep wounds that cause you to want to crumple up in a ball and find a dark corner somewhere to hide. Both Matt and I have experienced major storm damage from some of our painful experiences in ministry. My husband and I have been on a roller coaster of emotions as we try and find our place within God’s Church. It got so bad I actually suffered from anxiety, I would often sit in a pew or seat pleading with God to help me focus on just worshiping Him, and to protect my sensitive God given heart, from another blow.
When I saw this book, I knew it was an answer to prayer. And for that reason I am truly thankful.
Wounds hurt in several ways -
‘And I learned the hard way that wounds inflicted on us, even if they are only wounds resulting from the laceration of words, can make us physically ill.’ (P46)
Stress and rejection does that. The emotions become deeply embedded and often the first we know about how deeply affected we are, is by the reaction within our bodies.
Anne shares how there are positive and negative ways we can react to wounds, and the importance of saying sorry. I honestly feel sometimes that the healing word ‘sorry’ is misused over and over again. Many people say it without any real feeling behind it, or they refuse to apologise. In my mind a part of humility in Christ is being able to say sorry in grace.
She asks you to consider various hard searching questions that need to be asked, and they will take time to go through if you are dealing with deep wounds. There were several sections that I had to stop reading and just be with God in the cold raw pain. It was hard, so hard, but I needed to do it, wanted to do it, holding tightly to my Saviour’s hands.
The truth is, wounds left untended will fester.
‘What wounds have been festering in your heart and life? Perhaps they’ve been lying dormant but now are beginning to surface, and you will realise you are still hurting.’
Is there anything positive we can grow from the wounds we experience?
With my personal situation, the wounds I have experienced have actually enabled me to build a very close relationship with God. For this I will be eternally grateful.
My faith is not dependent on the way others have wounded me, if it was I wouldn’t be where I am today. But I do know that many haven’t been able to do that. Pain has a way of either encouraging us to grip harder onto the One who will never abandon us, or cause us to fall away. Where are your eyes fixed?
I do feel a huge sense of loss for the many who have turned their back on God because they have been hurt by His people. This is something very close to my heart and I believe strongly that the Church needs a wake up call about this. If we want to see change, it first needs to begin with us.
This book is for anyone who has been struggling with deep wounds or have caused wounds to another. God’s grace covers us all, and there is healing available as we run to Him in our pain.
I recommend this book for those who are hurting and need a tool to help them work through painful issues such as, separating rejection by God’s people from the unfailing love of God.
It also provides a tool for those who are suffering because they know they have wounded a sister or brother in Christ, and need help in receiving forgiveness themselves and working towards restoration.
I also recommend it for Church leaders, to help them in pastorally caring for their congregation and small groups.
The painful reality of living in the world, is that even if we are able to give our wounds and brokenness into the hands of our Redeemer, we will still face rejection here on earth. Broken relationships may never be fully restored, but the importance of being right with God can’t be underlined enough. At the end of the day it’s between us and God. When we finally meet Him face to face on that glorious day, it will just be us and Him. I don’t want any weeping wounds to get in the way of God’s plan for my life.
Don’t leave it another day to find healing in your wounds. Lean into our Saviour who knows what it’s like to be rejected by His own people. Open your heart to Him and ask for His help to rebuild what has been lost and begin afresh.
If you are someone reading this who decided you wanted nothing to do with the Christian faith due to the pain you have encountered through God’s people – please let me say how very sorry I am. All of us are on a journey of grace, learning who we are in the sight of a perfect God. He is the One who loves you with unfailing love, He will never abandon you, He wants a close personal relationship with you. Please don’t allow wounds from people stop you from taking that step of faith and giving your life to Jesus, you won’t regret it.
Wounded by God’s People: Discovering how God’s love heals our hearts
Anne Graham Lotz
Publisher: Hodder and Stoughton
eBook ISBN: 978-1-444-77952-3
Purchase a copy: Wounded: By God’s People* currently £9.65 on Amazon.co.uk
Disclaimer: I was kindly given a free copy of the book for review purposes.
(* Affiliate link means when you purchase through the link, I earn a little commission, which helps towards maintaining this website – thank you)
What are you thankful for today?
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