Ever get so engrossed in a book you forget to eat? A book has to be very good for that to happen in my world. But last week I came close to missing a meal while reading “When God Doesn’t Fix It: Lessons You Never Wanted to Learn and Truths You Can’t Live Without” by Laura Story.
And just what makes this title so mesmerizing and able to pass my scrutinizing eyes? Well, it rated above average in the following six areas:
#1 - Great Title and Subtitle
First off, it has a captivating title and subtitle. I worked in book publishing for years and learned early on the strategic role a terrific title and cover design play in the sale of a book. Story's book gets an A+ for meeting that criteria. Her title captured my attention while thumbing through a catalog, and lured me to Amazon to peruse it's Table of Contents, author bio and more. Next thing I knew I was buying a copy.
#2 Well-Known Author
Second, it doesn't hurt to have an author with name recognition, as is true of Laura Story. She is probably best known for her song, "Blessings," which made it to the #1 spot on the Christian music charts. (To hear this beautiful song see video below.) She's also a worship leader at a church in Atlanta and prior to her success simply saw herself as a bass player in a band. Once you read her book you'll discover there's much more to this woman besides music.
#3 Compelling Story
Third, a story has to be compelling. No problem there. "When God Doesn't Fix It" is the true account of Laura and her husband, Martin, whose lives were drastically altered when he was diagnosed with a brain tumor. The devastating news came during their first year of marriage and was followed by life-threatening complications after surgery and debilitating short-term memory loss which continues to this today.
#4 Excellent Writing
Fourth, the writing has to be above average. Again, Laura and her co-author have excelled on this point. The pace of the story is spot on and the integration of biblical principles within the story well balanced. One of my favorite aspects of the writing is Laura’s willingness to show us, not just relate facts, how she walked through those days, months, and now years. She accomplishes this by being honest, allowing us to watch her struggle to find God’s purposes and perspective when angry, impatient, weary, or trying to find solutions and direction. And in so doing we learn how Truth sustained and led her to find joy midst the broken dreams and un-fixable problems.
Managing to create a timeline that's easy to follow is not an easy task, especially in a story that jumps from present day to a prior period and then back to a current situation. But they pulled it off. Also smart was the inclusion of the “Myth or Truth” statements at the end of each chapter; a brilliant way to reinforce the key points.
#5 Biblical Truth
Fifth reason why I consider this book better than most is Laura’s depth of biblical knowledge and the application of it to each challenge she faced. She is such a positive example of someone who valued the study of God's Word and let it counsel her everyday life. Her weaving of theology into the telling of their journey is done in a way that is so natural, inviting and disarming.
#6 Readership Appeal
Lastly, when a book has wide audience appeal that's a big plus. Something this title has because not one of us lives without challenges. Yes, ours may not be as difficult as what Laura and Martin have to contend with, but the principles presented in her story apply no matter the complexity or longevity of the problem.
There is more I could say about the book and its author, but let me wrap this up by stating the audio version is superb! The voice and skill of the narrator was definitely a contributing factor as to why I almost missed my lunch. This is one case where I think hearing the story might be better than reading it.
One final comment: Beginning next Monday, June 20th, an online, 5-week Bible study based on Laura's book will start. To sign up go to: http://www.faithgateway.com/when-god-doesnt-fix-it-confirmation. Or, if you lead a women’s ministry or small group I noticed a 5-session DVD and study guide (based on her book) is available at Amazon under the title “Learning to Walk in God’s Plan Instead of Our Own.”