Christ and Calamity: Grace & Gratitude in the Darkest Valley

Book Review

Posted by Katie Meyers on November 5, 2022
Christ and Calamity: Grace & Gratitude in the Darkest Valley

Have you ever been in a place where it feels like there’s no light at the end of the tunnel? In times of trouble, do you ever think to yourself, why me? Can we really count on God to be there for us in our times of calamity? When we feel like we’re in the middle of a raging storm with no way out, do we trust the Lord to save us, or do we doubt like Peter?

Author Harold L. Senkbeil observes, “Happiness is often in short supply in this world; it comes and goes depending on the circumstances. But joy? That’s a whole different matter. Joy abounds in every circumstance if we just have eyes to see it.”

In his short book, Christ and Calamity, Grace & Gratitude in the Darkest Valley, Senkbeil teaches us that “trusting God for help when you can’t detect any available remedy” will get us through any calamity we face. He reminds us that faith is “waiting patiently for something hoped for.” (See Romans 8:24-25.) Like the disciples, we are people of little faith. However, in His own time and way, God will answer our prayers when we call out.

Throughout the book, Senkbeil uses Scripture over and over to point us to God. In the midst of calamity, we must rely on God’s sure word instead of our own thoughts. When we are faithless, Christ is faithful. When we cry out, Christ is our advocate. When we are afflicted, Christ is our comfort. When we are weak, Christ is our strength. When we are sad, Christ is our joy. When we are in darkness, Christ is our light. When we are alone, Christ is with us. When we are dying, Christ is our life. Ultimately, Christ is our victory.

“He ties his eternal presence to his living and abiding word.”
—Harold L. Senkbeil

This book includes prayers for the morning, evening, and any other time of the day. Senkbeil writes, “We have an anchor in eternity. Jesus promises to be with us every step of the way, even in calamity and the darkest valleys of our lives. He ties his eternal presence to his living and abiding word.”

God already knows when we are hurting, and when life is no fun. Rather than complaining and whining, we are to lament. This means calling God’s attention to what He already knows. Like the psalmist, we can cry out to God in faith.

Hebrews 12:1-2 says, “Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” We must run the race.

We can always come to the Lord with our burdens and worries. Matthew 11:28 says, “Come to me all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”

I love how this small book is packed with truth. It was a good reminder to me that when calamity strikes, I cannot look to myself. I must look to God.

Having suffered with a chronic neurological problem for 19 years, and this year with a new chronic pain disorder with no cure, it’s a comfort to know that Jesus is faithful; He is my joy, light, strength, always with me, and ultimately my victory. Jesus is with me in my darkest valley. Being thankful for what Christ did on the cross and focusing solely on Him is what will get me through. God promises that if I come to Him, He will give me rest.

I may never understand why I’m walking through this trial, but God knows and has a purpose for my life. With His grace, I can run this race with endurance and faith.

Katie Meyers

Katie writes for a digital marketing agency. She grew up at Faith Bible Church and serves in Aspiring Women and as a writer for Living Faith magazine. 

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