Is it possible to face the darkest days of life with hope and joy and purpose?
The life of Colleen Chao was bright and beautiful—it was brimming with hope and possibility. She was a talented, confident, and ambitious young woman. So, Colleen never imagined that she'd swim through two decades of deep-water anxiety and depression. She didn't guess that she'd marry late, suffer years of chronic pain and illness, and give birth to a child with health complications. And never in her life did she imagine hearing the words: "Cancer. Stage four. Terminal."
In the Hands of a Fiercely Tender God is born of the suffering that on its own could have crushed Colleen. Her pain, instead, opened her eyes to eternal realities and has wrought a soul of indestructible joy. How do we suffer long and well? What do we do when we feel cheated? How do we face pressing darkness? One thing Colleen has learned is that we cannot bear the suffering alone. We need lots of help. To that end, Colleen shares a precious devotional gift with the suffering soul: thirty-one days of wisdom, hope, and encouragement. Drawing upon stories from past saints, rich truths from Scripture, and habits that build joyful endurance, Colleen helps fellow sufferers to embrace one day at a time, to trust and love Jesus more, and put themselves In the Hands of a Fiercely Tender God.
"Brave and bighearted, this book is like a series of coffee dates with a much-beloved friend. Colleen generously invites us to journey alongside her, not only through our suffering, but also into the joyous embrace of a Love that exceeds our wildest dreams. Every moment I spend with Colleen—in person and in print alike—leaves me more deeply convinced of the beauty of Jesus."
Author of No Longer Strangers: Finding Belonging in a World of Alienation
"With aching beauty, Colleen Chao beckons us to the deep waters, where we can behold our trials, sufferings, and hardships anew—as In the Hands of a Fiercely Tender God. Her writing, breathtaking and forged through the fire, will move you to tears and praise as she unpacks the gracious gift of suffering. I am challenged to embrace the tender hand of God in times I'd rather pray against the very thing He's using to draw me near. This is a must-read for the body of Christ, one I will turn to again and again."
—Kim Cash Tate
Author of Cling: Choosing a Lifestyle of Intimacy with God
"As the crushed flower yields perfume, so Colleen writes this book. Permeated with scriptural insights discovered and lived in the valley of personal experience, every chapter she writes is designed to help us join her in maximizing the good that God is up to in our suffering. This book will touch you deeply. It will make you laugh and cry. It will refresh you and leave you feeling less alone. It will make you think deeply and give you practical steps you can take in your trials. Above all, it will leave you more in love with your mysteriously wise and loving Savior who is doing something beautiful in you."
Pastor; author of The Gospel Primer: Learning to See the Glories of God's Love
"There is an invisible chord that stitches us together, regardless of status or stage of life, net worth, or natural giftings—the string is suffering. Each of us will suffer. The question is, will we suffer well? Will we grit our teeth and bear our sorrow with misery, or will we smile through it with true joy? Colleen knows what it means to endure. She's done it with otherworldly focus, passion, and joy. Let her be your guide through life's dark valley in her beautiful book, In the Hands of a Fiercely Tender God. With her trademark combination of wit and wisdom, she will teach you how to hold on more tightly to the One who suffered for you, Jesus Christ."
Writer, Bible teacher, and fellow sufferer
"The Lord chose to refine Colleen Chao in the furnace of affliction. This book is just a tiny glimpse of the resulting beauty that's risen from the ashes. In each page, readers are invited to behold the kindness of the Lord that exists not just in Colleen's battle with terminal cancer, but in every trial and experience of suffering. In the center of the refiner's fire, Christ's followers will assuredly find an abundance of His tender mercies, and this book demonstrates the process of laying hold of them. Colleen Chao is a true encourager whose life and words exhort readers to take courage and worship Jesus with every breath."
Author of A Better Encouragement: Trading Self-Help for True Hope
"Colleen's wealth of personal experience, biblical literacy, and knowledge of previous heroes of the Christian faith makes this devotional eminently accessible even while it broadens the reader's knowledge and love for the God of the ages. I commend it to Christians everywhere as a source of encouragement and joy, especially when the troubles of this life are pressing in and the time to cross that great river draws near."
President of Radius International
"In the Hands of a Fiercely Tender God offers the truth about suffering. But Colleen doesn't leave us there—she gives us something tangible to hope in: Jesus. Through weaving stories from her own life, stories from saints of old, and solid biblical truths, Colleen gives us a beautiful tapestry of hope, through a series of daily devotionals. Whether in the thick darkness of suffering, or in the sunshine of ease—we all need these truths. This book makes me long to know Jesus more. What a gift!"
—Karen Race McCutcheon
Former Special Assistant to the President and Director of White House Personnel, The White House (President George W. Bush); wife to a US diplomat