Pain may be real, but so is God’s ability to pull us out of it. (p.113)
About the author: Chad Veach is the pastor of Zoe Church in Los Angelas, California. Chad and his wife Julia, have three beautiful children Georgia, Winston, and Maverick. (copied from the back cover)
About the book: “Where was God when ____? How could God allow ____? Why?”
These are the questions that flood our hearts and minds when the unimaginable happens. When things go horribly wrong and the world seems to be unraveling, how do you believe in God’s goodness? How do you cling to hope?
Chad Veach directs readers away from clichéd Sunday school answers that fail to offer real comfort or provide faith-building insights. Instead, he draws from God’s promises in the Bible and from the story of his own daughter’s diagnosis of a devastating and debilitating disease to reveal simple, purposeful steps for dealing with pain. Resting in God’s love, remembering his past faithfulness, and realizing the distinction between having faith and clinging to hope are just some of these steps.
Veach reminds us that because we know who God is, we know there is hope. (copied from the back cover)
I am pleased to begin my analysis of theodicies with this book, Unreasonable Hope. This book is not academic, nor does Veach try to explain suffering. He does share about the suffering that he and his family experience. He does not complain, and they do not merely endure. The Veach family has learned how to absorb the difficult realities of suffering, and they remain hopeful about the possible healing of their daughter Georgia.
The book is divided into four parts.
Part 1. The Struggle
Part 2. The Remedy
Part 3. The Rest
Part 4. The Better
Each part contains a few chapters and then a conclusion. I really enjoyed the conclusions because they offer practical advice in a numerical sequence. Each conclusion was very helpful, and I couldn’t help but conclude each part encouraged by what I read. Unreasonable Hope is really a biography of Chad and Julia Veach. Their daughter suffers from a rare brain disorder that involves seizures, lack of motor skills, movement, speech, and simple body functions. Lissencephaly is a debilitating disorder, and in most cases terminal.
Chad explains how, and when they find out about their daughters disorder. He explains how they learned to cope, after many months of frustration and fear. Over time Georgia has become well known, and the Veaches have gained a network of loving and supporting friends. Chad takes great care to express his gratitude towards God and others as he writes about the many blessings that they have experienced, despite suffering.
In each Chapter Chad parallels a story in the Bible with one of his own. His purpose, I believe, to share and explain how God used stories in the Bible to strengthen him. He used stories about Ruth, Abraham, Job, and many others. I appreciate the way he told each Bible story. He truly is a story teller, he shared the Bible in such a fun way, at times I couldn’t help but chuckle. He also has a great sense of humor, you must read the book. I couldn’t help but laugh as I shared one story with my wife and children, a story about a hat. If you are curious you will have to read the book.
Near the end of the book Chad explains the difference between faith and hope. I appreciate the word hope; I can relate to what he is teaching. Faith is believing in something, hope is anticipating something great. Ironically, just today my wife and I bought a large sign (about 10″x 2′) spelling out the word HOPE. And it has little light bulbs all throughout, it is a fantastic sign.
This book is a great testimony of faith and hope. I believe that this book has/will inspire others. Instead of becoming depressed about suffering, and instead of becoming bitter, there are others who testify about the continual love and blessing of God, a better alternative. If someone in your family is sick, or if someone you love is suffering and you wonder why, or if you are experiencing a difficult time, but you cannot seem to find God or experience His presence, I encourage you to read this book. Chad and Julia can empathize with what you are going through, and through this book they are trying to encourage you. Walk with them in their story as Chad uses biblical examples and wisdom to find hope in the midst of suffering.
In exchange for an honest review, BookLookBloggers has provided me with a review copy of this book. I have written an honest review.