I always find it difficult to summarize my reading of a book, or for that matter an event… a movie… a sermon. My thoughts and responses rarely settle down enough to capture until I’ve have time to rest with what I’ve taken in. Biographies are not something I ever felt drawn to, but I believe that has changed forever.
I just finished a shorter form of biography of the lives of three men, John Bunyan, William Cowper and David Brainerd; I am left wanting to know more. The book, The Hidden Smile of GOD, written by John Piper and Book Two in a series ‘The Swans Are Not Silent’, has left me hungry and aching for more; more of the wonder of God as He used affliction in the lives of these men, but more of God Himself. I want to find my only life in His.
I would highly recommend this book for reading, especially to the believer who may be experiencing a dark or distant or frustrated or rebellious season in their walk with God. Have your afflictions seemingly caused you to push away from God? Get your eyes off of yourself and put them back on God who alone is worthy to be worshipped.
I can’t quote the book… too hard to pick one or a few things, but a responsive prayer is always helpful and Pastor John Piper includes this in the concluding pages…
“Our prayer was then, and is now, that God would grant us a persevering grace to spread a passion for the supremacy of God in all things for the joy of all peoples. Life is too precious to squander on trivial things. Grant us, Lord, the unswerving resolve to pray and live with David Brainerd’s urgency: “Oh, that I might never loiter on my heavenly journey!”
“The afflictions of John Bunyan and William Cowper and David Brainerd were not for naught. The pebbles did not drop in vain –neither in their own lifetimes, nor in the centuries to follow. God has breathed on the waters and made their ripples into waves. And now the parched places of our lives are watered with the memories of sustaining grace.”