Review of Joni Eareckson Tada, Songs of Suffering: 25 Hymns and Devotions for Weary Souls, Wheaton: Crossway, 2022.

            In this work, Joni seems to progress to yet another level of pastoral insight in dealing with great hymns of the faith as a help to suffering believers. Keith and Kristyn Getty provide a warm foreword, followed by Joni’s brief but incisive references to a number of biblical passages, and her affirmation that ‘We are what we sing.’ The book consists of the lyrics of 25 hymns, with an appropriate biblical text and a devotional comment attached to each one, together with the music, including the bass line, for all 25 hymns.

            Musically, the book begins with Katharina von Schlegel’s magnificent Be Still My Soul and ends with Eliza Hewitt’s rather less sophisticated When We All Get to Heaven. Overall, the choices made by Joni are very apt, befitting her message of comfort, strength and hope. As Joni has journeyed nearer eternity, and seeing Christ face to face, her faith has deepened, and this is reflected in her comments on suffering and glory in these 25 devotionals. In a sense, her world has become smaller, but the Lord has loomed larger.

My wife and I read them together each morning, and both of us had the same sense of gratitude that Joni had been inspired to write this work. We trust others find it as uplifting as we did.

–  Peter Barnes