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Growth from Adversity: Lessons from the Shire

“There and Back Again” a Story Warren blog post by missionary John Sommer

In this season of uncertainty surrounding the novel coronavirus outbreak, it can be hard to imagine what the world will look like once all this (we pray) is over. Will we be employed? Can our dearly-held institutions survive? Will hugging friends become a thing of the past? How will we pick up whatever pieces are left in the wake of COVID-19?

Change, in general, is difficult for most people. But this change? This change is difficult for everyone, worldwide. And trying to pretend that everything will end up right back where we started is not only impossible, but it also denies the growth that God can bring through adversity. If, after this pandemic, our lives look exactly the way they did before social distancing, we may conclude that we’ve missed something.

In this week’s blog post, missionary John Sommer shares lessons gleaned from J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings. He explores how Christ uses the suffering of life to produce growth in the midst of trial and how our Father can bring beauty from ashes.

Click here to read the post “There and Back Again” from Story Warren: Allies in Imagination.

About John Sommer:
John always wanted to be Robin Hood when he was little, that is, when he was not playing with Legos and dreaming about designing houses. Now he is a missionary in West Africa, and instead of robbing the rich to feed the poor, he is sent by the rich to reach the poor. John is a regular contributor to Story Warren, and he and his wife Patty write a blog at

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.  —  James 1:2-4

Click here for more tools and information on weathering the COVID-19 novel coronavirus outbreak.

Visit the PCS Coronavirus Response page for more information on what our school is doing to partner with families during this time away from campus.

Header image by StockSnap from Pixabay