Monday, May 3, 2010

Review - Plan B by Pete Wilson

I was excited to get an advance look at a soon-to-be-released book via Thomas Nelson's BookSneeze program for bloggers. The book is "Plan B:What Do You Do When God Doesn't Show Up the Way You Thought He Would?" by Pete Wilson, and it is available for sale starting today.The extended title of the book pretty much sums up what the book is about...
Learn how God often does His best work in our most hopeless situations.
What do you do with a shattered dream? Or an unmet expectation? What do you do when your life isn't turning out the way you thought it would? What do you do when you have to turn to Plan B?
Pete Wilson is the lead Pastor at Cross Point Church in Nashville, TN, a seven-year old church about to launch its fourth campus this Spring. He is an excellent writer with a very conversational style, who tackles a very difficult subject with a wonderful balance of compassion and truth. It's so easy to err in discussing the intersection of pain, evil and the will of God. Pete has helped so many people in his church through terrible 'Plan B' tragedies and circumstances. Yet he doesn't water down what Scripture has to say about how God works in our lives, and how His priorities are so different from ours. Pete shares many touching stories in the book, and weaves these into his overall theme, and ties them into God's perspective. The book also includes a study guide in the back - this is a great idea as those facing Plan B scenarios definitely will want to discuss these issues and find the support that a small group can provide.

In Plan B, there are no simple answers, no silver bullet, nor does he try to tie a 'bow' to wrap things up in a neat package. Readers will still have questions, some they may never seen answered on this side of eternity, but they will find comfort, a fresh perspective, and be given about a good a chance as possible to see transformation in their lives through tragedy. Wilson does not shy away from saying difficult things, but always in a very compassionate way. He doesn't blame God for bringing tragedy, but promises that God is present and longs to help us through our most difficult seasons. He talks in depth about the cross as the ultimate example of something that at the time seemed like a Plan B tragedy.

A few quotes that I thought were particularly powerful:
"In the midst of a Plan B, you really have only one task, one calling. And that is to do what you would do if you were confident God was with you." (p.82)
"Is it possible you don't really want God? Is it possible you just want what you think God can give you?" (p.143)
I lost it and sobbed in reading the story of one young couple, when the wife broke down and cried "No mother should have to walk around and look at tombstones for her baby while that baby hiccups and shifts within her." (p.183)
I was shocked by what he called me in Chapter 10 - I can't repeat it here without it sounding harsh and out of context (but check out p.153 if you're curious!) - but he was right. For me the Chapter on Waiting on God was perhaps the most useful part of the book.

I've been through a big Plan B tragedy in my life, 18 years ago, and found myself identifying strongly with both the pain described and the hope felt in ultimately feeling again the presence of God. If you haven't been there yet, get this perspective before you face a dark night of the soul. I can't say for sure how this book would be received by someone in the midst of such pain, but I'm thinking they would find it extremely useful, possibly a lifesaver. I would strongly recommend this book for anyone who has ever asked the question "Where are you God?!" or "Why me?"

For more resources on Plan B and a lot of powerful stories, check out "Plan B" is available at Amazon and other retailers.

      I review for BookSneeze


Grant Jenkins said...

Great review. I am in the middle of a huge "plan B" life moment now and this book has been a huge encouragement to me.

Larry Baxter said...

Thanks Grant. I'm sorry to hear you're in the middle of a Plan B right now - it's almost impossible to get through life without them but they really hurt when they hit and it gets personal. I'm glad to hear this book is an encouragement too. I'll be praying for you.