"Faith is not a breathing exercise to make us marginally more at peace in the midst of modern distraction. It is stern stuff that allows a person to stare into the darkest void and walk straight in. Faith was made for hardship, suffering, fear, sickness, and nights like this...
Faith shows its true power and full worth in such moments."
That's Pastor Peter Chin speaking.
The night he's speaking of was a night where he came to the end of all his reserves.
His beautiful young wife had aggressive breast cancer, coming close on the heels of the miscarriage of her third pregnancy. Their two daughters were under five years of age.
They had just moved to a new city, into a neighborhood infested with crime, for the purpose of planting a church.
Nothing that defined Peter before this point could help him now.
The fact that he was a pastor couldn't carry him.
The fact that he was her husband couldn't fight Carol's disease.
The fact that he was their father couldn't shield his daughters from fear.
Only a living God, One who is present with His people, could meet these needs.
In this new book, Peter takes us step by step through these dark, difficult, valley-of-the-shadow months.
The Chin's personal story is riveting. (The author may object to that, but it was.)
The trials they encountered came so hard and fast that it's no wonder Peter felt betrayal and despair when he thought of them all.
The wonder is that he can now point to providence, care, redemption, and grace as sustaining his family during it all.
In the beginning of the book, he tells us that he's not writing a theological treatise on suffering, he's relating his personal experience.
Without crossing the line into academic analysis, he brings forth some incredible insights.
When you get your copy, pay attention to these chapters- "The Mulberry and the Wisteria" and "A Minor Miracle."
How he keeps his sense of humor I don't know, but this is also one of the funniest books I've read in a while. (I started laughing out loud when he made this certain comment about the hospital elevator.)
Short review: This book will wrench your heart as you think about a family trying to deal with all of this, and it will move you to praise God as you see His presence in their lives.
Thank you Bethany House for my review copy. It's going on my keeper shelf.