Sarah Young uses a religious practice known as listening prayer to pen the devotions found in "Jesus Today," a method that requires time, quiet and an undistracted mind that gives the impression Jesus speaks directly to the reader.
For example, devotion 22 begins, "I guide you in the way of wisdom and lead you along straight paths. This is the way of wisdom: trusting Me no matter what happens in your life," inspired by Proverbs 4: 11, Romans 8:29 and Proverbs 20: 24.
The readings have proven to be a lifeline of encouragement for all those who suffer since the book first published in 2012. Due to its "literary merit" and high consumer demand, the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association awarded it the ECPA Christian Book of the Year in 2013.
Sarah admits the book was written "during three of the most challenging years of her life" after as early diagnosis of chronic fatigue syndrome in 2001, when what she really suffered from was Lyme disease. Australian doctors, unfamiliar with treatment protocols in 2009, prompted Sarah's return to the U.S for treatment.
A knowledgeable Midwest doctor ordered forty-two blood tests and a brain SPECT scan that revealed she suffered "co-infections" of Lyme disease. She recommended several months of grueling and expensive "IV antibiotic treatments." Sarah writes, "I am convinced if I had been healthier, I would not have been able to write this book."
"Jesus Today," features 150 two-page devotional entries and fifty noteworthy quotations that reflect her feelings in the "trenches of adversity when she needed hope to shine brightly." Sarah prays the book will be a "lifeline to people who feel as if they're sinking in hopelessness, as well as a source of encouragement to those whose lives are not so desperate."
I believe Sarah's prayer has been answered and "Jesus Today" will be like her previous book, "Jesus Calling" that inspired a generation of devoted readers. Noted by Publisher's Weekly who said the "Jesus Calling" brand celebrated its tenth anniversary with over ten million books sold worldwide.
Sarah is, was and remains one of my favorite authors and I am blessed to review anything she writes, however, unlike most celebrity authors she rarely grants interviews. To learn more about Sarah read Mark Oppenheimer's New York Times article, A First-Person Defense of Writing in Jesus' Voice. Or Christian Broadcasting Networks rare interview with the reclusive Sarah: Q & A with Sarah Young.
***Check the list below for information on Sarah's other titles***
"Jesus Today: Experience Hope Through his Presence" by Sarah Young, Thomas Nelson, 2012, 368 Pages, 978-1400320097, $15.
Midwest Book Reviews: "Gail's Bookshelf" March 2014
FaceBook: Gail Welborn