Book Reviews

Book Review: “Joy in the Journey” by Steve and Sharol Hayner

jj-haynerJoy in the Journey is a collection of reflections from a couple (and occasionally friends and family) going through the struggle with a terminal illness. Steve Hayner was president of InterVarsity, as well as holding a number of other teaching and pastoral conditions. He died of cancer in early 2015.

The book is composed almost entirely of blog-like entries into CaringBridge, a web site that allows people to share their journeys through illness. Thus, readers experience the journey with the Hayners as they find out Steve’s diagnosis, realize the disease is terminal, and continue to live their lives.

A surprising number of applicable insights are found throughout the posts. One example was Steve’s reflection on “wasting time” and using time wisely in the face of death. He not only outlined some ideas for how to consider time usage, but also stressed the importance of doing things you enjoy, and how relaxation should not just be considered time-wasting. Alongside insights like these is an infectious sense of hope.

Steve, Sharol, and friends all display a vision of looking ahead to the joyful life with Christ, and the hope that is brought through reflection on the Word of God. Interspersed throughout the book are poems and hymns, allusions to and quotes from the Bible, and more. These tidbits are not just insights into the hope found in Jesus, but also provide ways to reflect upon grief and joy in life.

It would have been nice to include some sort of index or way to find specific discussions within the text. More discussion of some of the comments made throughout the book might have also made it more useful. As it stands, however, it remains a beautiful book that has several insights and reasons for hope all over.

Joy in the Journey is a hard read, but one that provides several helpful insights into living–and, sadly but necessarily, dying–well.

The Good

+A glimpse into a godly journey towards the end of life
+Gripping emotionally
+Several insights packed into the journal-like entries

The Bad

-No additional commentary for how to apply the insights and stories

Disclaimer: I received a review copy of this book from the publisher. I was not asked to provide any specific sort of feedback whatsoever. 


Steve and Sharol Hayner, Joy in the Journey (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 2015).


Be sure to check out the page for this site on Facebook and Twitter for discussion of posts, links to other pages of interest, random talk about theology/philosophy/apologetics/movies and more!

Book Reviews– There are plenty more book reviews to read! Read like crazy! (Scroll down for more, and click at bottom for even more!)



The preceding post is the property of J.W. Wartick (apart from citations, which are the property of their respective owners, and works of art as credited) and should not be reproduced in part or in whole without the expressed consent of the author. All content on this site is the property of J.W. Wartick and is made available for individual and personal usage. If you cite from these documents, whether for personal or professional purposes, please give appropriate citation with both the name of the author (J.W. Wartick) and a link to the original URL. If you’d like to repost a post, you may do so, provided you show less than half of the original post on your own site and link to the original post for the rest. You must also appropriately cite the post as noted above. This blog is protected by Creative Commons licensing. By viewing any part of this site, you are agreeing to this usage policy.


About J.W. Wartick

J.W. Wartick is a Lutheran, feminist, Christ-follower. A Science Fiction snob, Bonhoeffer fan, Paleontology fanboy and RPG nerd.


3 thoughts on “Book Review: “Joy in the Journey” by Steve and Sharol Hayner

  1. Sounds as though it is a moving book. Did they happen to take the title from Michael Card’s song of the same name? A beautiful song which, it seems, would fit this family’s experience well.

    Posted by Michael Poteet | December 23, 2015, 9:32 AM

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 2,865 other subscribers


Like me on Facebook: Always Have a Reason
%d bloggers like this: