Although Cecil Murphey has written over 125 books, I had not heard of him before I requested a review copy of his recent book, Making Sense When Life Doesn’t: The Secrets of Thriving in Tough Times. I was quickly drawn in, however, by his warm voice and down-to-earth writing style. He illustrates his points with many interesting stories from his years of mission work and pastoring, as well as a number of fascinating examples from his career as a writer, making the book very readable as well as inspirational. Also, the short chapters are ideal for a busy mom who is lucky to get even 5 minutes to focus on something outside of her daily routine.
Things happen to all of us in life that we cannot control, and sometimes we make things happen by our own choices. Change is inevitable, but it is not always easy to navigate. Making Sense When Life Doesn’t is, at its heart, a book about finding the greater meaning in the ups and downs of life, which is a question that we all face at various times in our lives. Although each chapter focuses on a specific topic, several different themes resurface as Murphey takes us through his philosophy of life, such as:
- finding balance, even during a crisis
- identifying and following our passions
- handling change, whether chosen or forced upon us
- understanding what to do with negative experiences such as rejection or loss
- reaching out to others to help and be helped
- forgiving others – and ourselves
- dealing with strong emotions such as jealousy and anger
Murphy’s candid openness about his experiences, combined with his unflinching honesty in examining his own heart, make this little book so much more than a series of homegrown sayings or pithy expressions. Instead, his words are treasures gleaned from the time he has spent reflecting on his life along the journey which will hopefully help us avoid some of the more painful lessons he has learned or, at the very least, give us some insight as we go through our own struggles and challenges.