Lost in the Middle: Midlife and the Grace of God by Paul David Tripp takes a hard look at midlife issues including:
- What lies behind the midlife crisis?
- Facing our mortality
- Dealing with regrets
- Fading dreams and unfulfilled expectations
- Who is in control of my life?
- The idols that come to light
- Where do I find my identity?
Although the Bible doesn't specifically use the words "midlife crisis", Tripp believes it addresses these concerns and provides the only worldview that will help us safely navigate these waters. Only in the light of the Word can we make sense of our struggles and find real comfort and hope for change.
We may experience some or all of these issues. We may deal with them to varying degrees, but our response will be dictated by the state of our hearts. This is where we see the mercy and grace of God. Rather than letting us continue as is, these difficulties force us to face who we are and where we have misplaced our hope. Grace allows us to own the bad harvest we may be reaping, repent, and believe that God will enable us to bear new fruit. This grace doesn't necessarily fix our problems but it refines us and prepares us for heaven.
Having weathered a major midlife crisis, I was greatly encouraged by this book. I could relate to the stories and trials that were shared and gained insight into my situation. But the book's main strength is that it points consistently to the gospel and its glorious culmination, eternity with the Lord. In my own aftermath, I can't think of better place to fix my gaze. I highly recommend Lost in the Middle.
What is midlife about? Yes, it is about painful regrets, crushing disappointments and physical aging. It is about decisions, words, and actions you would like to take back. Furthermore, it is about dreams that seemed so good but now seem like they will never come to be. It is about the loss of youth and the dread of old age. It is about these things, but it is about so much more. Midlife is about the glorious riches of God's grace that call me in my lostness to find something better. It is about learning in my weakness to find the inner strength that is mine because the Spirit of power lives inside of me. Midlife is not a time for weakening faith but a time of trial that is designed to leave my faith in Christ stronger than it has ever been. It is a time when I really begin to understand that no other glory (relationships, career, health and physical beauty, or material ease) can compete with the glory of being loved by Christ. pg. 347
To kick off the New Year, we will be giving away a copy of Lost in the Middle. Please fill out the form below to enter. (US and Canadian address only please.) The providential winner will be randomly chosen and announced on January 8.