Do you think The Stress Cure: Praying Your Way to Personal Peace might be an unrealistic premise? Anytime you use a hook and promise a “cure,” you set the bar high. Can Shepherd deliver?
Linda Evans Shepherd “is the author of over thirty books, including How to Pray through Hard Times (which won the 2012 Selah Christian Life Award), Experiencing God’s Presence, When You Don’t Know What to Pray, and When You Need a Miracle (which won the 2013 Selah Christian Life Award).” But her qualifications are born in the school of suffering, where she struggled with the questions of life’s fairness in her eighteen-month-old daughter’s injurious car accident.
There are gems sprinkled throughout the book:
“Building a bridge to peace involves gaining a better understanding of God and the tools he’s given us, which include prayer and God’s Word.” (p. 15)
“Having (God’s) Spirit inside us doesn’t necessarily mean we know how to yield to him. And this yielding could very well be the key to experiencing less stress in our lives.” (p. 31)
“If everything always went our way, how would we ever discover that God can flip our difficulties into good…?” (p. 38)
“The best way to develop a grateful heart is to learn how to walk in step with God.” (p. 66)
“Jesus changes our hearts from a slum to a palace fit for his presence.” (p. 94)
“If you are caught up in situations beyond your control, the solution is not figuring out how God can save you; it’s trusting that he will.” (p. 97)
“When our negative attitude comes because we don’t like where we are or what we have, we need to do a ‘will’ check: God’s will versus our will.” (p. 137)
Shepherd is a gifted storyteller, weaving details of Scripture in narrative form in order to clearly illustrate God’s truths. She’s so good at the craft, in the middle of a story, she turns the point back home to point out personal application. So much so, that you don’t see it coming!
But the biggest “ah ha” for me, came in the stories of her own battles surrounding her infant daughter’s car accident, coma and resulting disabilities. Shepherd clearly understands the need for stress relief in its many forms, and her narrative is a reminder of the power of story to connect a reader to the greater truths of God’s love, care and compassion.
This is an important book, because Shepherd brings hope. She reminds each one that “God is with you. He’s at work in your circumstances now.” (p. 77)
Is there anyone who does not experience stress in some form today? This book is a must-read for all. It provides space to stop reading in order to write out a personal application, as well as modeling steps of prayer to process the change needed. It provides fresh insight into troublesome stories in the Bible and reminds us of our calling to love and be loved.
Could Shepherd deliver on her promise to bring a stress cure? Yes, she did! The illustrations, Scripture passages and written-out prayers all served as a stress reliever, ushering in the peace of Christ!
Disclaimer: I received this book as a contest giveaway in The Book Club Network, Inc.