The newest book from Rachel Turner, Comfort in Uncertain Times, is a very timely release. You may be familiar with her previous family devotional, Comfort in the Darkness. While the latter addressed specifically fears that kids often associate with nighttime, this new book specifically addresses Biblical stories of anxiety, loss and transition and helps kids draw close to God in this midst of these seasons.
As adults, we know that life is full of uncertainty and uncertainty is hard. Kids face uncertainty too, whether that is changing friendships, moving, the death of a family member or the anxiety of a world that never stays the same. Although we want to, we know that we cannot always make things better for our kids and often times we may not even know how to help them process the big feelings they are having. This book is an excellent one both for helping kids navigate these kinds of seasons and also for opening up conversations for families to address these themes through Scripture.
From the introduction, Rachel writes,
The question is not if the storms of life come but when. There were two times when the disciples encountered Jesus in choppy waters with powerful winds. One time, Jesus calmed the storm. The other time, he walked on water and invited Peter to step out of the boat on to the lake while the winds continued to blow and the waves continued to rise. On both occasions, he showed his disciples who he is and what he can do in a storm.
Our children may be facing uncertainty. The most important gift we can give is to show them who God is and what he is doing in the midst of it. We can empower them to walk through the storms with a faithful God who is just as powerful in uncertainty as he is in the calm. We can help them hold fast to the God who weaves all things together for good and is faithful to guide and comfort. We can connect them to the God who hears them and responds, who provides and rescues, and who gives them peace and purpose when they feel helpless.
There are 15 stories in this book. Each one has conversation starters and ideas for connecting with God. I appreciate that each story begins with a summary of the key truth and idea of the story so parents can have an understanding of where the story is going. Every story invites kids into an aspect of who God is in the midst of anxiety, loss or transition and gives a great foundation for beginning a discussion. I also appreciate the notes and coaching for parents that is included in the introduction as a way of equipping for these challenging conversations.
The stories are not long. There are several great conversation starter questions, and the ideas for connecting with God are simple and meaningful. This book is intended for families to do together and while you could do it at bedtime, that may not actually be the best time for conversations around themes of anxiety, loss and transition. Comfort in the Darkness is better suited for bedtime. This book would make for a great dinnertime conversation.
I highly recommend this book for the families in your church. This is suitable for kids of all ages as the conversation prompts and connection to God ideas can be adjusted according to age. These are important themes that all kids, particularly as we emerge from 2 years of pandemic, need ways to discuss with trusted adults.