Publisher and Publication Date: Crossway. 2019.
Genre: Christian nonfiction. Suffering. Lament.
Audience: Christian readers who are going through suffering.
Mark Vroegop’s website
And his Facebook page
Author info: Mark Vroegop (MDiv, Grand Rapids Theological Seminary) is the lead pastor of College Park Church in Indianapolis, Indiana. He is a conference speaker, a council member with The Gospel Coalition, a trustee of Cedarville University.
Mark’s Twitter page: https://twitter.com/MarkVroegop.
Mark Vroegop’sGoodreads author page.
For more information at the publisher (includes excerpt from chapter one): Dark Clouds, Deep Mercy.
Vroegop explains in the introduction that the aim of Dark Clouds, Deep Mercy is to help the reader know how to lament their sufferings to God. He explains the reasons why lamenting is important and he teaches how we are to lament.
“Lament is the honest cry of a hurting heart wrestling with the paradox of pain and the promise of God’s goodness.” Page 26.
Part 1 Learning to Lament/Psalms of Lament
1. Keep Turning to Prayer/Psalm 77
2. Bring Your Complaints/Psalm 10
3. Ask Boldly/Psalm 22
4. Choose to Trust/Psalm 13
Part 2 Learning from Lament/Lamentations
5. A Broken World and a Holy God/Lamentations 1-2
6. Hope Springs from Truth Rehearsed/Lamentations 3
7. Unearthing Idols/Lamentations 4
8. A Road Map to Grace/Lamentations 5
Part 3 Living with Lament/Personal and Community Applications
9. Making Lament Personal
10. Let Us Lament
The concluding chapters are the conclusion, appendix 1-4, bibliography and indexes.
I’m so thankful for authors who write about the hard stuff. I’m thankful for authors who teach it is okay to cry out to God.
What I love about this book:
•Vroegop lets me know from the start: lament is not talked about as it should be in the Christian community. It is a hard topic. It requires transparency. It requires humility to let down our guard and be honest about how we feel to God.
•Lament requires practice. It requires work. Vroegop teaches how to lament.
•Learning to lament is shown in the steps listed in chapter one and expounded on in the book. Vroegop calls it a pattern, and there are four steps in the pattern. He uses the book of Psalms as examples. He emphasizes that “lament is not a simplistic formula.” Lament is a “song” we “sing” to God believing He “will answer and restore.”
•Dark Clouds, Deep Mercy is a beautiful book, because it’s a soothing balm for an aching heart.
•I learned several things personally from Dark Clouds, Deep Mercy. For example: idols in my life. Waiting is difficult but never a “waste.” God has a plan even during my time of suffering. I’d never considered my lament is a “song I sing.” Lament develops a deeper faith in God.