Kara Tippetts knows about hard. A pastor’s wife and mother of four, she has faced a church split, heart problems, a wild fire that threatened their home, stage four breast cancer, a radical hysterectomy due to tumors in her uterus and ovaries, and brain cancer. She has endured endless tests, surgeries, chemo, and radiation. And yet, she writes graciously and poetically of God’s grace in the midst of life’s hard. With remarkable vulnerability, she shares how her illness has affected her life and the lives of those she loves. She shares about her marriage, her childrearing, and her fears. She even shares how she encouraged her husband to remarry when she is no more.
Tippet says that brokenness is not to be feared, but rather to be received humbly. She affirms unwavering faith in the midst of crushing blow after crushing blow. For her, faith is faith in the moment, for we cannot count on more than this moment. She says, “hard is often the vehicle Jesus uses to meet us, point us to that peace, and reach us grace.”
Tippet’s style is gentle, poetic, and shows a depth cultivated through suffering. My only criticism of the book is the lack of any discussion of prayer for healing. She writes of the many people praying for her and her family, but the sense is that these are prayers for coping, not for healing. It grieves me when I see Christians whose default is acceptance of suffering as from the hand of God. Yes, sometimes God allows suffering, but is it a gift? Is it from him? Or does he call us to pray and believe for healing? I understand that he doesn’t always heal, but if we are to be New Testament believers, how can we deny that Jesus always healed everyone who asked, and healing was the norm in the early church. I fear that we have abdicated that essential tenant of our faith in deference to the flawed theology of Dispensationalism and cessationism. I would have appreciated the book more had she shared of individual and corporate prayers for her healing before resigning herself and her family to living in the hard.
That criticism notwithstanding, this is a gentle book of grace for those who are facing the hard in their lives. The publisher has graciously provided a book for me to give to a reader. So if you or someone you know is facing the hard of life and you would like to read “The Hardest Peace,” leave a comment below. I’ll randomly draw one person’s name and send you a copy of the book.
If you are a blogger, LitFuse offers you an the opportunity to win a complete #HardestPeace Prize Pack, including:
- A book club pack (10 copies of The Hardest Peacefor you and your small group!)
- A handcrafted candle
- Custom Etsy The Hardest Peace print and coffee mug
To enter to win the #HardestPeace Prize Pack, simply blog about your #HardestPeace story and then submit the link to your post via the link-up. Plus stop by others’ stories to leave encouragement and offer prayers as we all travel the journey of life together and discover that the hardest peace is often the most fulfilling peace.