I recently read Plan B: What Do You Do When God Doesn’t Show Up the Way You Thought He Would by Pete Wilson. Pete is the pastor of Cross Point Church in Nashville and writes regularly at his blog, Without Wax.
In one word, I can sum up my feelings about the book: FANTASTIC.
I highlighted more passages in this book than in any other book I’ve ever read. It’s that good. I’ve already re-read pieces of it and will probably do so many more times.
The very first passage to get the yellow marker was this one:
“Your dreams may not be happening, and things aren’t turning out the way you expected, but that doesn’t mean your life is spinning out of control. It just means you’re not in control. It’s in those moments you can learn to trust the only one who has ever had control in the first place.”
It just means that you’re not in control, Rachel!
What do you mean I’m not in control?? :) For someone who likes to maintain [ahem...] slightly more than her share of control, this piece grabbed me by the arm and shook me awake. I knew this book would resonate with me because I’m in the middle of my very own Plan B right now. I never planned, dreamed, or imagined I would have cancer. This is not at all how I envisioned my future, yet, it is what it is.
This book helped me see more clearly that sometimes God can do some amazing things when our plans do not turn out the way we had hoped. Sure, this is not how I saw things happening, but that doesn’t mean He can’t make something good out of this difficulty. I just have to be willing to trust Him and keep my eyes open for the good stuff that He is doing and is going to do.
There was one part of the book in particular that surprised me, but made sense to me the more I thought about it. Pete refuted a saying that many of us have repeated in an effort to comfort someone, or even ourselves, at times. You know the phrase – God will never give you more than you can handle. You’ve probably said it before. I know I have, to myself and to others. But Pete says,
“Here’s the truth—and this one is thoroughly biblical: throughout life you will face one situation after another that will be completely beyond what you can handle.”
Well, all right then, there you have it. When I read that, I took a deep breath in and exhaled slowly. YES, we will – we ALL will – experience situations that we feel are beyond our strength, beyond our ability to cope or process because they ARE beyond OUR ability to handle them. It’s in those moments that we cry out to God for help and we know that He will give it to us.
I can’t say enough good things about this book and about the hope that it points us to in the Bible. It really is a fantastic resource for anyone struggling to make sense of a situation that has or is turning nothing like we had planned. If you are interested, you can download a chapter of the book for free at PlanBBook.com and see for yourself if it is one you might like to read.