POSTCARDS FROM THE EDGE
Finding God In Hard Places
By Ian Coffey
IVP. 135 pages. £7.99
ISBN 978 1 783 592 050
The rubbish is cleared away and the values that are lasting come to the fore. With warm transparency, a strong degree of emotional intelligence and a big pastoral heart, Ian Coffey explores the depths that many of us can experience when circumstances are desperate and we need to discover the God who walks with us during our most difficult times.
Characters in crisis
Each chapter deals with a biblical character facing crisis, but begins and ends with a contemporary story, or a personal illustration from the author himself. This adds to the book’s authenticity, making the applications real and giving a tone of relevance and integrity. The tough issues are addressed, the doubts and fears are explored and there is a refreshing absence of simplistic clichés and trite platitudes. The content is both substantial and accessible, an effective and helpful combination.
Postcards from the Edge could very easily be used as a study guide in a group context, because each chapter contains the same structure. The scene is set, the character is put into context, the story is told and lessons are drawn out. Then a ‘So What?’ section gives a list of questions to consider that can be reflected on personally or discussed with others.
Perhaps one of the most abiding messages is the need to take personal ownership for the way in which we respond to the circumstances we face. We may not be able to dictate the events of our lives and the tough blows that come our way, but we can choose how we respond. As we reach the last page, we are left in no doubt that we have a God who promises to give us a strength beyond ourselves both to endure and to triumph.