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Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Book Review: "The Roller Coaster of Unemployment"

TITLE: The Roller Coaster of Unemployment: Trusting God for the Ride
AUTHOR: Sarah Hupp
PUBLISHER: Grand Rapids, MI: Discovery House Publishers, 2010, (160 pages)

This is a difficult time for many people. The economy is weak. Unemployment is rising. Trust in the government is failing. Hopes for the future are falling. People of faith are trying to hang on. This book is one such resource to encourage people to hang on to hope. Most crucially, it urges readers to hang on to God.

Using the metaphor of a rollercoaster, Hupp accompanies the reader through the proverbial ups and downs of life, the highs and lows, the joy of being employed, and the agony of being laid off. Like the start of a rollercoaster ride, the author begins with 'climbing the heights.' During times of being employed, one tends to become overconfident of job security. One spends time making money, and unwittingly pushes to the background the more important things in life. During such a time, one is vulnerable to sudden changes, especially unexpected ones. Part Two is where the roller coaster of unemployment really makes its presence known. In 'Whoosing down the hill, one faces the distressing emotions of losing a job. More crucially, one's faith gets tested. Failure and fear become dominant and try to usurp the hopes of the retrenched. In Part Three, the journey continues through 'Loop the Loop' where the winding experience plays through anger, discouragement, careless words, and puts one face to face with God. Instead of turning up, Part Four leads the reader through a dark tunnel. Here is where good and bad feelings are mixed together. On the one hand, one looks for God's guidance. On the other hand, there is the human tendency to worry. Yet, in the midst of the confusing signals, there is still an opportunity to do good, to be generous, to be hopeful. Part Five is where the recovery begins. In 'The Bunny Hills,' the author encourages the reader to hang on to hope, that God is looking for us. There are promises of blessings, of encouragement, of God intervening at the right moment. As the rollercoaster ride nears the end, Part Six is where one goes back to the station. The hands that gripped the handrails slowly relax. The thrill has ended. The tough periods are over. It is time to rest in God's providence. In other words, unemployment itself has a definite end. For God is in control.

My Closing Thoughts

This is a very creatively thought out book about encouraging the unemployed with faith and hope in God. With great compassion and understanding, the author literally accompanies the reader through the emotional ride over the entire journey. Beginning with a brief explanation of the phases of employment and unemployment, the Hupp recognizes the spectrum of emotions that arise through each particular phase of the rollercoaster ride. Packed with biblical references, stories of real people, and a helpful checklist for reflection at the end of each chapter, the book is a great companion for people who have been laid off, or looking for a job. More importantly, this book shows the way toward something better than a mere job: Hope.

Rating: 4 stars of 5.


This book has been provided to me free by Discovery House Publishers and NetGalley without any obligation for a positive review. The opinions above are mine.

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