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Lessons from a hospital bed

winter 2016

From triple helix - winter 2016 - Lessons from a hospital bed [p20-21]

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John Piper

IVP, 2016, £4.99, 75pp, ISBN 9781783594238

Reviewed by Janet Goodall, retired Paediatrician based in Stoke

This is a small book, easy to hold in a weak hand and easy to read with a tired mind. The chapters are short and full of distilled wisdom. It is a little gem for anyone in hospital or for a hospital visitor.

John Piper has spent a couple of brief times in hospital, but long enough to write with insight. He first records ten beliefs he took in with him followed by ten things he learned there. He excuses patients too exhausted to get through the first ten, yet they will refresh those already sharing their faith and may draw others to it. Piper relies on God's Word, his goodness, omniscience and control. He outlines the story of salvation and the hope of heaven, where sickness will be no more. Satan may try to shake us but is not in control. God is able to bring gain from our pain. Piper encourages us to pray for, and perhaps with, neighbouring patients. Some may welcome talk about the hope we have in the love of Jesus. And pray too that God will use for his glory every part of the (sometimes humiliating) experience of being in a hospital bed.

Many will appreciate the lessons learned. A Christian friend in hospital has already found this a book worth sharing.



Article written by Janet Goodall

More from triple helix: winter 2016

  • Christmas: the miracle of the incarnation
  • NIPT
  • The Sustainable Development Goals one year on
  • PrEP
  • Sex education programmes are largely ineffectual
  • Wear your values
  • Supporting colleagues in challenging times
  • Finance in the early years
  • NHS in crisis
  • Boundary stones in bioethics
  • Gender and social change
  • Overcoming stress and burnout
  • Spiritual Care at the end of life
  • Pressed but not crushed
  • The Heart and the Abyss
  • Heart Attitudes
  • Dementia: Pathways to Hope
  • Lessons from a hospital bed
  • Inventing the Universe
  • The Life you Never Expected
  • eutychus
  • A patient I should have cried over
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