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Experiencing grace in our mess and pain | with Lina Abujamra

Understanding God's goodness as grace through brokenness

Season 13, episode 296
50 min / Published

I welcome my new friend Lina Abujamra who invites us on a compelling journey through the ups and downs of faith, the role of suffering, and the unfathomable depths of God's grace. One of my favorite quotes from her book exemplifies this. She says, “mercy is never deserved, but always desired, and the key to unlocking it is simply to receive it.” Amen! She also adds, “God loves us not because we believe it, but despite the fact that we don’t.” Amen again!!

As I reflect on our conversation, here’s the main takeaway: Lina reminded me of the unfathomable-but-so-true depth of grace amidst the chaos of life. Her Christ-centered transformation, her candidness in sharing her struggles, and the indescribable nature of God's grace left me with a very real hope in the grace I have received in Christ alone. May we embrace grace in all its messy, beautiful, and transformative glory, knowing that God's love extends far beyond our moments of weakness and failure.

Allow me to tell you a little more. And remember - Lina goes a hundred miles an hour, and our conversation reflects every bit of her 100% passion for Christ! So, as soon as we get started, she dives headfirst into the turbulent waters of suffering, highlighting her experience of God's grace amid hardship. From Lina's childhood in war-torn Lebanon to her struggles with church hurt and not one, but two broken engagements, she reminds us that grace isn't just a feel-good notion; it's a lifeline we cling to in the stormiest of seas. Through Lina's story, we see the transformative power of grace as God teaches her to turn her pain and disappointment into a purposeful journey of healing and growth.

Lina transparently shares her experience of church hurt and the rollercoaster of emotions and doubt it triggered. Her raw honesty about the struggle of leaving her church and the subsequent crisis of faith will speak straight to the hearts of many who have found themselves on a similar rocky road. Lina's openness about embracing weakness and the need for humility in allowing God to become our strength is a reality check in the best way possible, resonating with anyone wrestling with their own spiritual journey amidst the messiness of life.

Lina's insights from her book, "Don't Tell Anyone You're Reading This," shed light on the relentless struggle to understand and receive grace. Her own dance with legalism and the expectation of earning God's favor will strike a chord with those of us who have felt the inescapable weight of our very real imperfections. Through Lina's journey of grappling with the depth of God's unconditional love, I feel challenged to ponder anew my understanding of grace, and to embrace the sheer magnificence of experiencing God's love in my many failures and corresponding messiness.

We do also talk about her latest Bible Study, “A table in the wilderness,” which I devoured. Stories of God’s tables of blessing are woven throughout Scripture. In addition to an introduction about why God chooses to feed us in order to teach us about His goodness, A Table in the Wilderness offers in-depth Bible study on five tables that God offers as physical and spiritual reminders of His love, mercy, and overflowing kindness:

-       Salvation (Passover)—when you need to be rescued

-       Unexpected belonging (King David’s table)—when you deserve to be punished

-       Overflowing satisfaction (the wedding at Cana)—when you feel empty

-       Remembrance (the Lord’s Supper)—when you’re likely to forget

-       Eternal celebration (the marriage supper of the Lamb)—when life is hard

This substantive, applicable, and richly spiritual study includes a QR code for quick access to streaming videos, spiritual exercises for contemplation and prayer, a self-reflection tool, and a leader’s guide for small group study. Even in the most unexpected places—our weaknesses, our sins, our doubts—God loves to invite us into His presence. You are invited! Come to the table.

To end, here is another favorite quote from her book: “the kind of meal most of us long for isn’t about the food; it is about the people.” How very Gospel Spice! So, let’s unpack together what Lina means by that.



Dr. Lina Abujamra is a Pediatric Emergency Room doctor who now practices telemedicine full time as well as oversees the ministry of Living With Power.

For over more than 20 years, Lina has been teaching the Bible and speaking at conferences, retreats, and colleges, both here and overseas. She is the author of several books including her most recent book Don’t Tell Anyone You’re Reading This: A Christian Doctor’s Thoughts on Sex, Shame, and Other Troublesome Issues as well as her Bible Study series Mapping the Footsteps of God.

Not unfamiliar with pain and brokenness, she has made it her mission to ignite passion for Jesus in the hearts of God’s people, and to help them experience the beauty of Jesus’ healing and the power of hope.

Through Living With Power Global, Lina is providing medical and humanitarian aid to Lebanese people, refugee communities in Lebanon, and to Ukrainian families displaced by the war. Learn more here.

Born in Beirut, Lebanon, Lina now calls Chicago home. She is still single and is still a huge Green Bay Packers fan.

We invite you to check out the first episode of each of our series, and decide which one you will want to start with.

Go to gospelspice.com for more, and go especially to gospelspice.com/podcast to enjoy our guests! Interested in our blog? Click here: gospelspice.com/blog

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God's glory, our delight 


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Go to gospelspice.com for more, and go especially to gospelspice.com/podcast to enjoy our guests! Interested in our blog? Click here: gospelspice.com/blog

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  • a table in the wilderness
  • bible study
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  • wilderness
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  • moody publishers
  • esther press
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  • livingwithpower.org
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  • lebanon
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  • https://www.livingwithpower.org/resources/
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This episode is part of the GUEST INTERVIEWS | Taste & See that the Lord is good series
Stephanie invites you to discover the amazing journeys of our guests
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