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Even in our darkness

I just finished reading the memoirs of Bible teacher and author, Jack Deere.

“Even in Our Darkness: A Story of Beauty in a Broken Life.”

Wow — that’s exactly what it was — and the “broken life” part was throughout all his years as he describes one struggle after another that he encountered.

I’ve been thinking about his story for the last couple of days…and wondering what this piecemeal memoir is really saying to me.

People who are finishing the race of life and share their store are like gold to me. In a sense, Hebrews chapter eleven’s “Hall of Faith” is an invitation to learn from the biographies of those who’ve gone before us.

Jack is a brilliant and well-learned man who has served the church in many countries.

But this book was mostly about his relationships — his broken and abusive childhood, his salvation story, his girlfriends, his wife and kids, other pilgrims he has met along the road of ministry, and some of the wounds he encountered along the way…and some of the wounding he did to others.

He puts these encounters against the backdrop of the Christian ministry culture he served in, and reveals how easy it is to succumb to ambition. And ultimately, we see his growth and awareness of who he is before God.

We see that sin, darkness, and emotional brokenness exists in every human family, and the redemption of Jesus is needed everywhere.

We see the power of illness and the sting of death. We see the presence of God and his promises and where our true hope lies.

This book made me want to take each day as a gift — because it is. So I went and sent a text to each of my kids to tell them I love them and how they are a gift to me.

It also made me want to offer the redemption in Jesus to those who are broken around me. It also reminded me of how much I need the gospel and healing. And this morning it left me wanting to walk more closely with God in the brief life He has given each of us.

The book is over for me. Life moves on.

What I’m hoping my friends and all the families that our men’s ministry touches would know is this:

Real men and women have brokenness.

Real men and women don’t need to hide their brokenness.

Real men and women come to Jesus and can experience his healing.

Real men and women suffer a lot of hardship in life, even as Christians.

Real men and women struggle in relationships with their kids, spouse, and mom and dad.

Real Christians trust in Jesus through all the ups and downs of life. And we open up to each other about our struggles and we gain strength from God and from our brothers and sisters.

“Just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.” – Jesus

~ Brent Hoover

Ann Arbor, MI

April 2024

2 thoughts on “Even in our darkness”

  1. Thank you dear brother for sharing! I’m looking forward to reading “Even in our darkness”. Thank you for being a faithful guide to THE LIGHT in my darkness and countless others. I love you bro!

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