Oh God, I’m Dying!
How God Redeems Pain for Our Good and His Glory
Ever since a near-fatal auto crash in 1996, high-profile Christian leader Mark Smith experiences severe pain on a daily basis.
Despite the chronic pain, how has God enabled him to succeed as the president of two Christian universities? Follow the riveting story of the accident, the excruciating rehab that followed, and how reliance on God’s grace keeps sustaining Mark and his wife.
God speaks through pain—and He does not stutter!
How is it possible for brokenness and suffering to generate spiritual blessing? Why does God favor and delight in using weak, needy persons?
What Bible truths and promises strengthen and encourage us when we hurt?
When another person causes life-altering affliction, how do we stave off resentment?
What kind of response to pain expands our ministry to others?
Oh God, I’m Dying! is a new book that addresses those questions. It is the captivating true story of Dr. Mark Smith, a high-profile Christian leader who has served the Lord effectively despite living with severe pain ever since a 1996 auto accident. He is currently President of Columbia International University in South Carolina.
This book vividly describes the accident, the uncertainty and despondency he experienced during rehab, and illustrates the long-term physical consequences of a wreck caused by another person’s carelessness. The narrative shows Mark’s experiences, rather than merely describing them. You’ll see Mark’s and his wife’s desperate reliance on means of God’s grace, including, but not limited to, heartfelt prayer, God’s Word, others in the body of Christ, Christian songs and medical intervention.
This book reveals how Mark’s faith in Christ was tested, and ultimately deepened, due to the accident. Anyone who experiences physical pain or another form of ongoing affliction will discover the encouraging truth of how God redeems pain when He chooses not to remove it. The result of reading this story will be renewed hope that God can use broken people, enhancing their usefulness to Him not in spite of suffering, but because of it. Any positive impression of Mark that you take away from this story will be eclipsed by the compassionate portrait you see of his Savior, Jesus Christ
Part 2 of Oh God, I’m Dying! provides 10 faith lessons, or devotionals. Each faith lesson is rooted in Mark’s story, but offers biblical content not included in the story, plus quotes from renowned authors on the subject of affliction. These reflections, applicable to persons who deal with an affliction other than chronic physical pain, also give practical applications. Topics examined in these faith lessons include:
- Clinging to God’s Word
- Pleading with God
- Embracing Brokenness
- Releasing Resentment
- Using Music to Soothe the Soul
- Cultivating Faith by Remembering God’s Past Deeds
- Modeling the Message
- Discerning God’s Call to Ministry
- Comforting Persons Who Hurt
- Redeeming Pain
This book teaches you how to learn from and how to persevere in tough times!
Mark, thank you for turning a test into a testimony! I couldn’t put this book down. It’s a page-turner!
This book had to be written! Its message will bring hope, encouragement and empowerment to multitudes who are experiencing the pain of brokenness: physical, emotional or otherwise.
I’ve read many books on suffering, but this one touched me at a deeper level than any of the others.
~ Steve Bradley, retired Columbia International University Director of Field Education
Oh God, I’m Dying! offers a powerful story and compelling faith lessons to help readers facing affliction. This captivating book is well-written and can be life changing for persons experiencing any kind of pain
~Delaine Blackwell, Teaching Director, Community Bible Study, Columbia, S.C.
Christ is held high throughout Dr. Smith’s story, then the biblical principles and the quotes from other authors in the 10 Faith Lessons are worth their weight in gold.
~ Cole Harper, Young Life Area Director, Newberry, SC
Since July of 2017, Mark Smith has served as the President of Columbia International University in South Carolina. Terry Powell is Faculty Emeritus in Church Ministry at CIU. Terry still teaches as an adjunct professor and serves as a mentor to students in the Doctor of Ministerial Leadership Program.