2 out of 4 stars
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There's no question that life can be cruel. Everyone faces off against challenges in their lives, challenges that can not only make us question our own abilities but also our faith. Weathering these storms in our lives can take a great deal of trust in God, and that's exactly what Lucy Paynter reminds us of in her book, Calmness in the Storm. Lucy is a pastor and has written this tiny book to show people that God can easily guide us through any storms we may face.
This 25-page book gives readers a focused look at dealing with hardships, using stories from the Bible and a few from Lucy's own life as examples. Separated into 8 chapters, there really seemed to be 3 central points made in the book: we will all face our own personal storms, God can calm storms, and we should put our faith in God to do exactly that.
Lucy shows us a time when the disciples were literally in a storm and feared for their lives. They woke Jesus and told them they feared for their lives, and He merely told the storms to calm down. To their amazement, his mere command settled the storms right down! Above all else, this is the central focus of the book: God's ability to settle any storm in our lives. There are other examples from the Bible as well: the tribulations that Job faced, the parting of the Red Sea, and the attempted burning of Shadrack, Meshack, and Abednego, for example. But my favorite examples were the ones from the author herself, such as her health issues and her problems with getting her children to America. While the Biblical examples are terrific, there's something more meaningful about seeing the author's own usage of these lessons in her life. Sadly, with only 25 pages in the book, there aren't many of these examples.
If I found a genie that, for some odd reason, would only grant me three wishes pertaining to this book, I would wish for more pages, more editing and polish, and more examples from the author's life. While I managed to find numerous terrific lines to highlight and reflect on later, the lack of editing is a bit off-putting. In addition to the 20 errors I found, there were countless sentences that could've been far easier to read. A 25-page book should take mere moments to read, yet it felt like it took hours to complete Calmness in the Storm. Sure, some of that time was due to reflection or looking further into things Lucy mentioned, but most of it was re-reading sentences. This isn't to say that Lucy writes badly by any means; the lines I highlighted were excellent! I just wish the parts between them were equally polished, and that the truly great lines weren't the exception to the rule.
I have such mixed feelings about Calmness in the Storm. Like the aftermath of a harsh storm, it seems rather disheveled overall. I enjoyed the points about calming oneself and not scrambling for bad solutions to problems, and the book is a nice reminder to keep calm and trust in God to take care of His believers. My rating of Lucy Paynter's book is 2 out of 4 stars, although I'd still recommend it to Christians who are facing storms of their own and want to bolster their faith during hardships.
Calmness in the Storm
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