Through the Eyes of a Lion
My September Book Recommendation
A little over a week ago, I was reading an email and it was talking about this book by Levi Lusko, “Through the Eyes of a Lion: Facing Impossible Pain, Finding Incredible Power.” The email gave a quick summary of the book and I immediately knew that I needed to read this book! I literally read it in less than a week and I want to share it with you for my September book recommendation.
This book caught my eye because of this question written on the top of the backside of the book: What Will You Do When The Unthinkable Happens? The author of this book experienced the unthinkable, his 5 year old daughter died of an asthma attack in his arms. This book is powerful as he writes from a place of brokenness; he shares all the God has taught him through this tragedy. Honestly, Levi gives some amazing perspective on grief and looking through God’s lens at our hardships. I totally recommend this book if you are going through a storm; it has helped me immensely. As I mentioned in my last post, one of my best friends died of cancer last month and it has been one of my hardest times in my life since my divorce. I found this book to be very helpful. Also, Levi talks about how no one knows when the next storm of life will hit, so this is a great book to help prepare you as well; you don’t have to be in the middle of a hardship to get the benefit of this book.
I wish I could share with you all I have learned and all of my favorite parts because there were so many pearls of wisdom but I only have time to share with you 3 things.
1) He starts off the book taking about the war of the lenses. “This is the war: every moment of every day, we must make the all-important choice of whether we will rely on the naked eye. Will we trust what we can see is there, or believe what God says is there.” He is talking about our perspective of how we view things. He gives lots of great examples in this chapter but he talks about the stars and how even though we cannot see them, they are there. He talks about how a telescope will bring into focus what is there that we could not see but has been there all along. He then says, “So it is spiritually. You must not rely on the naked eye. What you think you see is not all that is there…You must learn to see life through the eyes of a Lion (hence the title of his book). Doing so is to utilize the telescope of faith, which will not only allow you to perceive the invisible- it will give you the strength to do the impossible.” I love this!
2) He shares his story about his daughter and talks about his own grief. He relates it to the ocean and waves crashing on the shore which I have heard before. However, then he then talks about grief as reverse pregnancy- this is a new way to look at grief which I have never heard before. So, as many of you know that have experienced childbirth, the very last stage is when the baby is crowning and it is sometimes referred to as the ring of fire. Now, I had c-sections with my babies so I don’t know how it feels but I have heard it is very painful and difficult. Well, he says, this is where grief begins- right at the ring of fire, the most immense pain and hurt. He says, “You start there, gripped by spasms of agony so fierce you cry out gutturally and come physically undone.” For there, you go backwards in the delivery so next would be contractions. Here is what he says, “From the ring of fire, you transition into heavy sorrow. The contractions of sadness start out so stacked together, so constant, that it feels like an unending seizure of suffering. As the days give way to weeks, there are moments of respite between these attacks as you learn to breathe and ride them out.” Again, just thought this was such a good illustration of grief and wanted to share it with you. Unlike pregnancy, with grief, the pain will never completely go away, it will just subside with time. For anyone out there that can relate to this grief, first let me say I am sorry; I know it is so painful and difficult. Second, I pray that you feel God close to you; I pray you feel his love and comfort as you grieve your loss. I love the verse Psalms 34:18: The Lord is close to the brokenhearted.
3) My favorite chapter in the book is called “Pain is a Microphone.” After Levi explains all about grief, he writes about how God can use your pain to help others!! This is something I am I very passionate about; using our hurts and pain to reach out and help others who are hurting. He says, “There is an enormous amount of good that comes to you when you let God flow through you. It doesn’t make the pain stop, but it does help your heart heal.” He continues to say, “But every time I have pushed through and let God use my pain, I have been glad I did- not just for any help it brought to those who suffered the loss, but also for the peace it brought my own heart.” In the book, he shares many stories about how he reached out to other parents grieving the loss of a child; he used his pain to help others. You could have struggled with infertility and you know the hurt you felt each month you could not get pregnant, who better to help someone who is currently struggling with infertility. Or you can have gone through a divorce and you know the hurt and pain you felt, who better to help someone else who is currently going through a divorce. Or you could have a strong willed child that can be difficult, who better to help someone else with a strong willed child. Or you could have struggled with an eating disorder or have a child with special needs or your husband just recently lost a job or you miscarried a baby….. All of us have hurts and pains in our life and God wants to use them to help others!
I want to end with my favorite quote from the book! He says, “God wants you to shine brightly. He wants you to reach more people. He wants you to take more ground, and the only reason he has allowed you to be doubled over in grief is so he could pick you up and help you reach new levels of influence you never could reach otherwise. God’s up to something! He’s turning your mess into a message. He turning your pain into a platform. He turning your trial into your testimony and the trash that has come into your life into triumph!” I love this!! God wants to use you to help others and your pain is a microphone to reach them! Let me end with this prayer.
God, I know first hand that storms in life are difficult. They are heartbreaking at times. God, thank you that you are there to comfort us and you are close to the broken hearted! God, I pray that we can lean on you during those difficult times. God, I pray that you can take those hardships and broken places in our lives and use them to help others in similar situations. Help us not hide our hurts and pains but be vulnerable and authentic with others. God, I know you bring beauty out of ashes and I pray you can use our hurts and pains today! Let us look through life with your eyes! In Jesus name, Amen!
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