Finding Hope in the Psalms During COVID-19: A Q&A with Michele Howe, the Author of “Deliver Us”

We are pleased to announce we have a new book coming from beloved author Michele Howe titled, Deliver Us!

This book was originally going to be published later this year, but we felt it was right to push it forward due to the world’s current shared crisis of COVID-19. This pandemic was a huge surprise for us all, which makes this book is a perfect read right now because it offers such important insight and encouragement to help us persevere during this unforeseen time.

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Here is an interview that we shared with Michele Howe:

1.) What inspired you to write Deliver Us?

Michele: Each of my book subjects is birthed from a personal place of struggle or challenge in my own life (with the exception of my single parenting books in which I told the heroic true stories of my friends and acquaintances who are single moms). Deliver Us first began as a realization of how much the book of Psalms has meant to me all these many years since I became a Christian at age 12. (I’m now 60!) I recall being introduced to a daily psalm reading schedule that I share in the book where I read five psalms each day (and as God designed it…each of the psalms deals with a specific topic or life issue). As I continued to delve into the psalms more and more deeply, I found it to be my go-to book in the Bible whenever I felt depressed, discouraged, despairing…or any other type of challenging emotion. It never ceases to amaze me how much comfort I find by reading through this book that validates every emotional state found in man. I realized that I wanted to share my delighted findings with readers who are in their own seasons of distress (or stress).

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2.) This book was originally scheduled to come out later this year, but was fast-tracked due to its relevance to the current COVID-19 crisis. Why do you think it’s important to release this book now?

Michele: If my own response to the COVID-19 crisis is a common one (and I believe it is), then the resources found in Deliver Us will be of immense comfort and consolation to readers. The stories I shared throughout this book are true to life ones, which makes each one all that more relatable and powerful…because when we read about another person’s struggles, we can relate to their emotional, mental, and physical reactions as fellow human beings. Although our individual stories may be unique to us, we can enter into another’s pain and suffering and then pay attention to how each person worked through their difficulty. Readers will discover a common theme running through Deliver Us – God has given us a powerful, life-giving resource in the book of Psalms from which to derive hope, help, and an eternal perspective.

3.) What were some of the specific challenges you faced when writing this book?

Michele: Interestingly, I found this book to be particularly challenging because the stories I shared were in great majority, life-altering, gigantic-sized, immensely troubling life scenarios. These stories shook me up and I found myself contemplating how I would respond to the same situation. Sometimes, I wept when I retold specific events because they were so painful. My goal was to tell the story and then communicate how desperately these folks needed God to intervene in a supernatural way…and He did!

4.) What do you hope others will learn from this book? (Especially in the midst of this pandemic.)

Michele: My greatest hope is that readers will see themselves as Kingdom people first and United States citizens second. Our nation (and every state in the Union) is tackling this great-unknown one step at a time. As believers, our primary objective is to know Christ and make Him known. As we do this lovingly, graciously (even with those with whom we disagree), God gives us the privilege of mirroring Jesus’ love to a lost world. Oh, that we would be most concerned about shining our lights brightly in this dark world than in getting our way politically or otherwise. Our hope is in God alone, and his Word tells us he places leaders in positions of authority and takes them down as it pleases him.

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5.) Personally, what is your favorite psalm to meditate on? Is there one you keep coming back to?

Michele: Psalm 37. I love this psalm because I do struggle with the tension between trusting God to meet my every need and observing evil men and women pushing ungodly agendas in our country. But this psalm repeatedly reminds me to, “Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.” Then, David writes again and again, “Do not fret. Do not fret. It only leads to evil.” As I read through this psalm in its entirety, I am calmed. I am comforted. I am consoled. I can exhale deeply and then get on to doing the next thing before me.

6.) What was your favorite chapter to write?

Michele: Chapter Twenty-Eight – Learning Contentment No Matter What. This chapter tells the story of two women with two very unique and challenging life situations. As they share their singular burdens with each other, they discover the same solution – that of disciplining themselves to stop grumbling and to start being thankful. Which leads to mutual contentment. I found this so personally applicable because while my challenges are uniquely mine, the biblical response is common to one and all. Writing their story challenged me yet again to purpose to stop complaining, to begin giving thanks, and to learn to be content. Why? Because this is God’s will for me (and you!)

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7.) What was the most challenging chapter to write?

Michele: Chapter Twenty-Nine – Embracing God’s Faithfulness in Times of Trial. This chapter deals with the particular challenges a pastor’s wife faces in her role as the primary supporter of her pastor husband and the general congregation. Although I’m not in such a role, I feel their burden in a smaller capacity as a women’s leader and small group facilitator who hears difficult and heartbreaking news daily. Similar to the woman whose story I share in this chapter, I have learned that I have to rely on the supernatural grace of God in order to love and serve those in my circle of care. I’m reminded that God doesn’t expect any of us to carry the immense load of responsibility we sometimes place upon ourselves. Rather, God wants us to be wise, discerning, and prayerful about what areas of service he is calling us into.

8.) Who do you think will really benefit the most from reading Deliver Us?

Michele: Christians who are struggling with the uncertainty of our world right now and are not able to fellowship with their church body will discover no small amount of tender care and a buoyant hope from these stories and their corresponding psalm. Individuals who are searching for the eternal meaning of life will happily find how much God loves and cares for them as individuals who are seeking for truth. Finally, those formerly passive believers who may profess Jesus as Savior but have not made his Lord of their lives will realize how intimately involved God is in every aspect of our lives.

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Michele Howe is the author of numerous books for women and families, including

Giving Thanks for a Perfectly Imperfect Life (2020), Joyous Faith: The Key to Aging with Resilience (2019), Strength for All Seasons: A Prayer Devotional (2019), Navigating the Friendship Maze (2018), There’s a Reason They Call it GRANDparenting (2017), Caring for Our Aging Parents: Lessons in Love, Loss, and Letting Go (2016), Preparing, Adjusting, and Loving the Empty Nest: A Companion to Empty Nest, What’s Next? (2017), Empty Nest, What’s Next? Parenting Adult Children without Losing Your Mind (2015), Burdens Do a Body Good (2010), Still Going It Alone (2008), and Going It Alone (1999).

She has published over 3,000 articles, reviews, and curricula, and has been interviewed on Focus on the Family several times.

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