Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Guest Blog from my Hubs: Hunger Pains

     The summer is a great reading time.   As a teacher, the normal school year (fall to spring) does not allow me to read as much as I would like to. Summer, however, is a great time to create a reading list and go at it. I would not say that I am a fiction reader. At times I have enjoyed fiction, but usually I lean toward non-fiction.  A quality fiction book for me is like a really good dessert that I don't have very often, where non-fiction for me is like a hamburger and fries type of meal--one that you get full off of and eat much more often!


Now that I have gotten you hungry, let’s get into the meat of my reading list. The first book that I want to feature was one that I was surprised by.  It's called Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand.  Her claim to fame is her other book Seabiscuit (another great read and movie). Due to my love of Seabiscuit, I decided to try her sophomore read. What can I say but gripping and intense.  The story is a biography about a man, Louie, who was on track (literally and figuratively) to be one of the best mile runners of all time and break the 4 minute mile, he came in 7th in the 2 mile at one Olympics and was preparing for another when World War II broke out. After becoming a bombardier in the Pacific theater, his plan was shot down, he lasted for 47 days in a life raft with two other survivors. Then when they were rescued they were rescued by the Japanese who put them in POW camps where he stayed for three years. After WWII, studies showed that in Germany POW camps about 1% of the prisoners died, in Japan the percentage was 37%. Louie was tortured, starved, and degraded for three years while in the POW camp, especially by one man, the head of discipline in the camp, known as “The Bird”.
The other book that has caught my attention came from a talk on Focus on the Family, {{EA92E46B-D63A-4CDC-9341-28971B9D4A04} it is an autobiography of George Mueller.
A preacher in Bristol, England in the late 1800’s, the book is aptly titled, The Autobiography of George Mueller. This read is actually a collection of his journal entries as he lived out his life of faith and prayer. After doing some research on him, I have found that at one time he said that through his journaling he had seen God answer over 50,000 of his prayer requests in his lifetime. That makes me realize he had to pray over 50,000 times! The thing that I was interested in George was that through his ministry he felt called to create orphan houses. He started out with one female orphan house, and then added an infant orphan house, then a boy’s orphan house. As he grew his ministry, he did it without ever telling anyone of his financial need, he only relied on God for his provision. As his ministry grew, so did his faith for God to provide. He built an orphan house to spread the gospel for 300 children, then another for 700 children. So at one time, he was able to house over 1000 orphans in England and care for their needs through the grace of God.
     The fact that brings these two books together is that both of them deal with hunger pains. For Louie, it was true starvation, to a point that he was a grown man who weighed 93 pounds in the POW camp. That after the war, he had such depression, anxiety, and fear that his only thought was that he needed to go back to Japan and kill his captor to get the pain out of his life. For George, the hunger was different; it was to show the church and non-believer that only God can truly provide for all of our needs. His hunger was to be “a friend to the orphan.” The outcome I have found is the same in both stories.  Without ruining the ending, I'll say that for Louie, it was at a Billy Graham revival that he found the only thing that could take away the pain and fill him up. To a point that on the night he accepted Christ as his Savior, the nightmares of war left and never came back for the rest of his life. For George, it was the constant answer to prayer that God would sustain his needs. At no point was he or his organization ever worldly rich, but they never went hungry, because the great provider provided.

     So what are my hunger pains? I think it has been unbelief that we will every actually get Lincoln home, that when I pray for big things I don’t believe they will be heard, that the world’s answers are bigger and more powerful than God, and that I don’t think I am capable at times and forget that God knows I am not capable so he will be there to make me capable. These two books remind me that these types of hunger pains can be easily taken care of.  I have had the blessing of rediscovering that through these books.

1 comment:

  1. Loved this Jamey! Got me hungry....both physically and spiritually:)