From the very first page, it is evident that 'Helping the Suffering' was born out of real hardship as well as genuine love and care for the Christian community.
James and Jennie Muldoon speak honestly and openly about their struggles through infertility, learning to care for their daughter with spina bifida, and cope with multiple deaths within their close family circle, all within a very short space of time.
It is difficult to read at moments as just like in the book of Job, the reader thinks, how can anything more happen to them? Things do continue to happen, but the way in which they frame it in light of the gospel is convicting.
This book was not written to be a high brow academic read, it was written to meet the reader exactly where they are at and to comfort them and to let them know that average people everywhere struggle in major ways, but that all glory and honour needs to be given to our God.
The second half of the book focusses on what they have learned in their experiences and how every day Christians can become major encouragers in the lives of their fellow believers who are struggling. The most convicting part of this book is that it does not introduce anything revolutionary, but its purpose is to bolster the confidence of those Christians that seek to be encouraging but do not know how. We often think that our efforts are not enough and so we shy away from saying anything at all, when in actuality, the simplest kindest words can lift a struggling believer out of moments of complete crisis.
This book has certainly encouraged me to be more mindful of my words and actions to those around me and to not be afraid to speak up even when I think it is just a small gesture, as to someone else it could be the difference in making it through the day and completely falling apart.
Sarah Perkins, London City Presbyterian Church