There is much to be said about suffering. Scripture is not silent on the topic, the Lord Jesus Christ exemplified it, and today there are countless books written on it. This because it is a topic that marks many Christians alike. Dave Furman counts himself among those Christians and utilizing his own experiences has brought some profound insight into the discussion of suffering as a Christian.
Truthfully, apart from a blog article here or there I knew very little about Dave or Gloria Furman apart from their names. Therefore, I knew nothing of the physical ailments that he faces and the impact of that upon both their ministry and family. As a result, the words he writes comes from experience, but they are infused with humility so that the emphasis is not on the author but on the author’s sustainer. From his fingertips then, we have a book that acknowledges suffering from a perspective of one who can relate to it while pointing readers to the Savior.
Kiss the Wave seems like an unexpected title, but it is taken from a Charles Spurgeon quote, a man who also knew much about suffering, that simply says, “I have learned to kiss the wave that throws me against the rock of ages.” The words seem simple enough, but the enlightenment it places upon the object of our faith is profound and Furman takes hold of this to direct our attention towards Him during the most difficult of times.
The author’s goal is not merely to give advice or appeal to emotion, but instead to lead people to their source of hope, which is God through Jesus Christ. He brings this goal to realization by filling the book with basic principles of the Christian life. Each chapter focuses on a specific activity or attribute of God the Father or God the Son but Furman directs the conversation towards the implications each has in regards to suffering. For example, acknowledging aspects about us such as we are weak, heaven is for real, and that God knows us better than any person, readers’ attention is directed towards God and to a right perspective of suffering.
Throughout the book, the author confronts the typical responses to suffering and how each of those falls short on the hearers’ ears. This is perhaps one of the grandest lessons in the book as Furman notes that phrases like, “I know exactly what you are going through” or “I’ve been there” can only be used by Jesus Christ. He does a great job at simply expressing how most of us feel when others try to comfort us in these ways and why they usually fall short. Once again, he uses it as an opportunity to fixate on God and demonstrates how a firm relationship with Him can carry a person through their suffering.
Dave Furman writes a book that expresses many conditions of suffering that I’m sure all of us would are unable to. Furthermore, his humility and plethora of examples make this a book that people can both relate to and apply. The fact that he utilizes doctrine instead of an emotional appeal to aide readers makes this an excellent book for people to consider when faced with adverse circumstances. It is one that I would urge many to pick up themselves, both so they are rightly informed when facing their own adversity, but also so that they may be better equipped to minister to others.
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher at no cost to me for the purposes of review. However, this review is the result of my own reading of the book and was not influenced in any way by the author, publisher, or anyone else associated with the book.