A shelter in the time of storm – meditations on God and trouble
Paul David Tripp
IVP; 159 pages; £7.99; ISBN: 978-1-84474-376-6
‘Self-sovereignty is the dream of every sinner. It’s hard for us to trust ourselves to the wisdom, power, and control of another. We want to write our own dramas, and we want to be the central character of the story.
‘But the spiritual reality … is that we are not … Our story is part of a larger story that is written by the Lord. In this story we are never on centre stage. That is a position to be occupied by the Lord alone’ (p.133).
This excerpt from number 43 of Paul Tripp’s 52 meditations on Psalm 27 provides a glimpse of his consistent effort to bring the reader to reflect on the character of God.
In the introduction, Tripp makes clear that these meditations are not a systematic exegesis of Psalm 27, but are reflections designed to fill the reader’s heart with renewed and patient hope through what he calls ‘trouble-spotted days’.
What’s more, he doesn’t write from success and prosperity, but out of his experience of hardship. This is highlighted by the opening paragraph, which recounts his daughter’s life-threatening accident when crushed against a wall by an unlicensed and drunk driver.
There are times when the style of the meditations is too repetitive. Also, some of the reflections struck me as perhaps more self-focussed than God-focussed. However, progressing through this book, I was challenged about my own response to God’s dealings with me, and caused to deliberate on my teachableness and willingness to wait for him.
For any in the grip of grief, distress, or weariness of heart this book could be a tonic, providing a way to reflect on Scripture simply and gently. For those who love the Lord Jesus, but struggle to read and appreciate his Word, this may be just the refreshment they need.