Saturday, October 24, 2015

Seeing in the Dark (Book Review)


Disclosure:  I received a copy of this book, at no cost to me, for review purposes.  All opinions in this post are my own.

Thanks to the Tyndale Blog Network, I had the opportunity to read Seeing in the Dark:  finding God's light in the most unexpected places, written by Nancy Ortberg.

Here's the description from the back cover:
Christians are supposed to be "the light of the world." Yet we seem to spend most of our time stumbling in the dark. We want answers carved in stone, and instead we get uncertainty. We want a clearly marked path and a panoramic view of the future, and God gives us only fleeting glimpses of what lies ahead―and just enough light to take the next step.
So what do we do?
We do what thousands of Christ followers have done before us. We take the next step. 
In her much anticipated follow-up to Looking for God, Nancy Ortberg takes readers on a journey that began thousands of years ago. From an ancient cave in Turkey to the California coast, Nancy highlights the often unexpected, sometimes imperceptible, yet always extraordinary means God uses to light our way through even the most painful and challenging moments in life.
With personal experiences and historical examples, the author tells of people who have been in the dark:  unable to see what lies ahead and, often, doubting that God is paying attention to what's happening.  With wisdom learned and with scripture, she offers hope.  Here's a passage from Chapter 7:
I--we--sit at the feet of those who have lived in the darkness.  Most of them, too, had periods of resistance, or at least wishing it weren't that way.  But they stayed.  And the way they emerged on the other side of the darkness contained so much light that we are torn between needing to look at them and needing to look away.  Noble, stirring, courageous, lovely--the way a soul should look, but we forget it can and what it takes.
"My God, why have you forsaken me?" (Matthew 27:46).  On the cross Jesus despaired over where the light had gone.  The light he was so familiar with.  The light that was in him, the light that was him.
But three days later came his resurrection.  A light that the world had never before seen, the strongest light that will ever be....
I see the chapters as writings that could stand alone, rather than as a single cohesive unit.  That's neither good or bad, just a subjective observation.

I'd rate Seeing in the Dark as solidly okay.  (It's very uncomfortable for me not to be positive, but I have to be honest.)  I've read quite a few books on the topic of getting through difficult times and the perceived absence of God, so maybe my reaction is different from what yours would be.  Perhaps because I've read so many other books on this, I didn't find much new content here.  The stories and examples are, of course, new to me, but the assurances are not.

Links for more information:
Another disclosure:  Amazon.com links in this post are my affiliate links.  If you click through and complete a purchase, I will receive a small commission.  Thank you!

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