Book: You’ll Get Through This
Author: Max Lucado
If you had passed by the glass-walled Chicken Republic at the Ikeja City Mall, you’d have seen me in my weird bantu knots, glasses and cold-shoulder top, gesticulating and talking to a man who occasionally switched his gaze from me to his chicken salad as he nodded therapeutically. You’d have thought he was this boss man and I was pitching my strengths to him for employment in his company. But it was just Douglas and I talking. And I was not pitching my strengths to him, I was, in fact, telling him about one of my weakest times ever.
I remember saying something like, ‘I was depressed and literally couldn’t do anything for like a whole week. But I’m actually fine now.’ His eyes widened and he looked alarmed and said, ‘You should have told me! You should have called me.’ In my mind, I’m thinking, ‘Lol.. yeah… if I could pick up my phone.’ But I ask, ‘What would you have done? You couldn’t have done anything.’ He says, ‘Yeahh…but I would have sent you this really great book.’ He tells me a little touching joke (I know those two words don’t fit) about the book and we have a good laugh and I tell him, ‘Thank you. But I’m actually really fine now.’ We end it there.
Fast forward to last week Tuesday, Douglas STILL sent me a mail with the book attached and dared me to read it; at least the first chapter, he said.
I finished the book today and boy am I blessed! In between bumpy Maruwa rides, court proceedings, and breaks from reading Law books, I was blessed.
The first thing that jumps at you when you read ‘You’ll Get Through This’ is the realization that your situation is not as bad as you feel it is. Max Lucado does a beautiful job, not undermining your pain or making you feel like your feelings are invalid, but letting you know that things could be much worse, and your life is way more hopeful than you are choosing to see.
The second thing that strikes you in the book is his writing style. I literally could not take my eyes off the pages sometimes because he writes so so beautifully. I almost wanted to eat the words off my phone, so that maybe I’d be able to write that well. I loved it.
‘You’ll Get Through This’ takes the story of Joseph in the Bible and blows it all the way up! It gets you into his mind frame, it stretches the little distance between verses and paints the black and white words with colors of vivid sceneries. You are almost Joseph’s best friend and confidant; you’re almost telling Joseph you understand his pain and that it isn’t really that bad once he sees that everything would come together and he’ll be fine. The trick? You are actually telling yourself that you understand your pain and that it isn’t really that bad, you just have to see that everything would come together and you’ll be fine.
The book tells you about how bad things might (and probably will) happen to us and some of it, we might not be ready for. Like… Joseph did not go: ‘Oh, let me wear padded clothes today because today is the day my brothers betray me and I get thrown into the hole!’. Like… some of us don’t exactly prepare for a job termination or the loss of a loved one or a break up or whatever painful thing happens to us, but we have to understand, and even more than understand, know and trust that in God’s hands intended evil becomes eventual good. We have to cling to the faithfulness of God; we have to know that God’s maths and calculations work differently than ours; we have to know that our pain won’t last forever but we will; you have to acknowledge that God is good through it all.
He asks one question: ‘What do you have that you can’t lose?’ When it seems like you’ve lost everything or something dear to you, ask yourself, ‘What do I have that I cannot lose?’. And if you’re a Christian, I have the answer for you: You have your place as God’s child; your place as His beloved. No one can take it from you and you can’t lose it. Look at the prodigal son. What’s that thing they say about blood being thicker than water? Guess what guys, Jesus’ blood is even thicker than ‘blood’!
He talks about how self-help books and articles get it wrong. They may say, ‘When in crisis, dig deeper’ (or something corny like that) but Max says, Joseph, there in the hole realized that there was only one way to look when you’re trapped, and that’s higher. And what’s more, we have now become the temple of the Holy Spirit, and Christ lives within us. Look within (not at yourself, but at Him!)
There’s more and more and more awesome stuff he talks about. (P.S. I may have added some of my jara to the above analysis.) But I recommend that you read the book, especially if you’re going through a hard time or you want to talk to someone going through same. It’s a beautiful book. If there were any extra pain I had tucked away somewhere, it’s all gone. Sometimes, a paradigm shift is all you need and this book gives that.
Thank you sooo much Douglas!
I’ll end with his mantra:
“You’ll get through this. It won’t be painless. It won’t be quick. But God will use this mess for good. In the meantime don’t be foolish or naïve. But don’t despair either. With God’s help you will get through this!’