A book with a title like Dark Clouds • Deep Mercy will not likely make your “feel-good” top 10 reading list. So if you’ve gotten this far, it’s probably because you (or someone you know) is hurting, and you feel out of your depth.
Well, you’ve come to the right place. Not only does Dark Clouds meet you where you’re at, but it provides the kind of compassionate, biblical, wise, seasoned pastoral help that you need. Dark Clouds is much more than a sustained argument for lament, though it certainly is that.
The extraordinary thing about Dark Clouds is the clear pathway it provides for you to learn the biblical language and pattern of lament. Pastor and author Mark Vroegop demonstrates from the book of Lamentations (and a handful of psalms) a consistent pattern – turn, complain, ask, trust – that godly people have used to sustain and strengthen their faith in the midst of pain, loss, trouble, and distress.
This is a goldmine for people who live in a fallen world (that’s all of us). Read this book as a gift to yourself and as a gift to others. Consider reading it with someone else. You will want to process this and pray through it with a friend.
10. On Despair
Despair lives under the hopeless resignation that God doesn’t care, he doesn’t hear, and nothing is going to change. (32)
9. On Complaining
Before you start complaining, be sure you’ve checked arrogance at the door. Come with your pain, not your pride. (52)
8. On Complaints
Complaints are not cul-de-sacs of sorrow, but bridges that lead to God’s character. (59)
7. On Funerals
Funerals… awaken us to the reality of the brokenness of the world in which we live. (81)
6. On Brokenness
Brokenness is woven into the fabric of our world. (92)
5. On Suffering
You live through suffering by what you believe, not by what you see or feel. (110)
4. On Pain
Pain helps us to see who we are and what we love. (136)
3. On Darkness
I wonder what would happen if more Christians confidently walked into the darkest moments of life and guided people into talking to God about their pain. (144)
2. On Lament
For hurting people, knowing that this expression of grief is a biblical and a God-given category can be a watershed moment. (159)
1. On Community
By creating space to lament together, we invite hurting people to come out of the shadows so others can join them in their journey. (179)