Excerpt: 'The Cure for the Chronic Life' by Deanna Favre and Shane Stanford

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You may be thinking, how convenient it is that the first letters of each of the four categories of answers form the word CURE. No, it is not a coincidence. Actually, we tweaked the concepts a bit to help you remember these qualities in your life and to enable you to apply them in your journey. But these categories are more than just a play on words or an acronym; they are a connection to how Christ intended for us to live in our world, free from our aches and with our deepest, most important questions answered. Thus, we believe readers will recognize this conversation, as we all confront these broken places from time to time. However, we also believe the impact of the chronic life can complicate other aspects of life. This is not a static issue; with the chronic life, a cascade effect takes place until every part of our life is touched. The results of this pattern for life leave us living "Chronic in Crisis," thus evoking other worries of what the crisis will mean for us. And the cycle continues on from there. But God's plan is different. God wants us to live "Chronic in Christ," throwing off our worries and experiencing the wonders of God's love.

This book is framed around a forty-day spiritual treatment plan and devotional guide that provide practical daily connections to life lessons, Scripture, and prayer suggestions. Forty is an important number for several reasons. Most important, it represents the number of years the children of Israel wandered in the wilderness and the number of days Jesus spent being tempted by the devil. But the end of any such period in Scripture also marks a major transition point. After forty years, the children of Israel entered into the promised land. And after forty days, Jesus left the wilderness and began his public ministry, which would change the world forever. Most Christians know these stories, but few realize the significance of this period of time for framing and forming the faith that we proclaim and believe today. Forty is a period of reflection, renewal, reframing, and restoration that ultimately leads to a new beginning. How about you? Could you use a "new beginning"?

God still wants a new and whole life for us today. He no more intends for us to live in an unanswered state or with a chronic pattern of loss and brokenness any more than he intends for us to live in relationship, separate from him. God has a new normal. He has something better, something sweeter in store.

The Cure for the Chronic Life is more than another self-help book. Sure, it provides lessons for living more freely and more faithfully. But it also involves story—the stories of our lives; the stories of those whom we love and who have made a difference in our lives; and most important, the story of God and God's love for us. Oh, and by the way, it includes your story too. Because the more you read and work through the forty-day spiritual treatment plan day by day, the more you will discover that we are all knitted into this fabric of life together. The lessons of this book work because they are framed by the story of very real problems that plague real people, every day. But in the course of your reading and reflection, you will also discover real hope born of God's very real love for you and me. And that is the greatest lesson of all.

CHAPTER ONE: THE SEVEN WORRIES OF LIVING IN CRISIS

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