Shattered Dreams, God’s Unexpected Path to Joy, by Larry Crabb, issues a call to look beyond the trials of life to find the deeper blessings that God has in store for us. The message of this book is that the only way we can find true fulfillment and joy in the Lord is through pain and loss. Those who have peaceful, contented lives have no reason to seek a deeper relationship with God. Yet, through suffering, we are called to look beyond ourselves, to evaluate what is truly important, and to encounter God.
This was a compelling, yet tough book to read. The author doesn’t shy away from the tough questions of life. He says, “Sometimes God seems like the least responsive friend I have…relating personally with a God who is less responsive than friends with far fewer resources is difficult.” I have felt that way at times—yet, I am hesitant to express those sentiments to others.
Shattered Dreams doesn’t offer any easy answers—in fact, it emphasizes that God may never take away our trials and suffering and that we may have a long difficult wait before we encounter God. Regardless, the reward of perseverance is a fuller joy in the Lord.
I didn’t find this book as hopeful and uplifting as I would have liked. Regardless, I think it does contain a lot of truth and could be helpful reading for anyone willing to address the “difficult questions” of life. It includes an 8 week group discussion guide and would be a good group study.
I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.