Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Book Review: When God Doesn't Fix It

There was a time in life (like several years ago) when I blazed through books. I'm talking 50 books in a year, and I lived to tell the tale or tales. As 2016 approached, I decided I wanted to make time to read again! I most nearly mean I want to complete more than 3 books in a year and not just start reading so many books.

On our long ride to Tennessee, Jeremy and I had about a 3 minute conversation about Laura Story and her backstory, which I'd heard from my friend Amelia. I took it as no mere coincidence that I found her book in a Christian bookstore while in TN and considered it a must-have.  Here's my review that can basically be summed up like this:

I think everyone should read this book! Right. Now.

If you're unfamiliar with the name Laura Story, you're more than likely familiar with her song "Blessings" that has been playing on Christian radio for several years. I can remember the day my friend, Brittany, sent me a Vox about this song and its beautiful lyrics. Story wrote "Blessings" in the middle of the season God still hasn't fixed. Laura's husband, Martin, was found to have a brain tumor near the beginning of their marriage with surgery to "fix" the situation soon after discovery. "When God Doesn't Fix It" chronicles Laura and Martin's time of learning what faith tested under fire truly looks like. When there are so many dreams and plans that were created in the mind of the two, God had different (and immeasurably better) plans for them.

While reading this book, I was reminded of my many questions and doubts that plague my mind about God. Maybe you have a similar situation. Maybe you struggle with the problem of singleness or a sick loved one or an illness of your own. If you're like me, I thought God had turned away from me because of HIs silence and not fixing the problem. However, what I found to be true as well as what Laura found to be true is that God never left. God doesn't have to fix the problem to use the problem. Our broken lives are used to mend our soul through Christ and bring glory to God; this is why God doesn't always fix it.

The biggest take away from this book was Laura's commentary on Mark 1:33-44. There were many people who were trying to get Jesus to heal them physically. They came with their ailments and illnesses, but Jesus went missing. Jesus' greater desire was to go to the next city. It's not that Jesus didn't care for those hurting; however His greater focus was to heal the people spiritually in the next city by sharing the gospel. Those in the current city had already heard. It was time for Jesus to move on so others could hear His message. What a powerful message! God's greatest desire is for us to know Him. We can't know Him by continuing to live an unhindered self-indulgent life. We can only know Him more by circumstances that allow us to be dependent upon Him. 

I was so challenged and refreshed by how much Laura focuses on God being at the center of our stories. This is something we obviously know as believers, but I don't know that we live this out fully. In the good and the bad, it can easily become us on center stage - Woe is me! or Look how great I am! Yet it is God who holds us together, gives the breath of life, and directs our paths. (Side note: My engineering-minded husband was talking last night about how the whole world sings a song to God - the forces that hold a building up, the pressure exerted on soil from a building, the way a barge and its heaviness coasts the waters- All singing to the glory of God. Nerdy but awesome!) And doesn't it make you look at your life differently with the lens that our life is a song to Him with Him reigning at the center of it all.

This is our God. This is the One who doesn't fix our brokeness, so that we can fix our eyes on Him.

1 comment:

  1. I meant to respond to your last text about this, but got distracted. Thanks for telling me about this book! I put it on my to read list. I have several books I've bought recently that I need to finish or read and then I plan on reading this one. I KNOW it will be just what I need.