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Friday, February 27, 2015

"Blindsided By God" (Peter Chin)

TITLE: Blindsided by God: Disappointment, Suffering, and the Untamable Goodness of God
AUTHOR: Peter Chin
PUBLISHER: Minneapolis, MN: Bethany House Publishers, 2015, (240 pages).

How can one cope with disappointment and suffering despite the best being offered to God? Reflecting on the age-old question of why suffering occurs, Pastor and author Peter Chin grapples with this topic from a deeply personal angle. How does one find joy in worship in a Church painstakingly built up but only has ten people in attendance? What is God saying to him with his on-off dating relationships? How can he make sense of his wife Carol's cancer? Earlier on, Chin shares about how the words "Prepare to be Broken" were an unwelcome prophecy of what he was about to go through. From Church planting problems, diagnosis of his wife's cancer situation, miscarriage, and being a victim of burglary, Chin's life seems to be spiraling downward to depression and despair. Living in a crime neighbourhood also forced them to become physically isolated from people, but also emotional isolation which may be worse. Blindsided by God? Then there is the cancellation of insurance coverage when the insurers said Carol's cancer was a pre-existing condition. As he researched more, he realized how insurance companies often practised "rescission" which intimidates potential claimers into giving up their claims. If the madness is not enough, then there is the "Triple Negative" diagnosis of Carol's cancer that was infamous for being the "killer of young women." Not only that, the surgery was made more complicated when the doctor discovered Carol was also pregnant! Is it going to be Carol's life or the baby's survival? Will chemotherapy drugs harm the developing fetus?

By the middle of the book, readers will see the tide slowly turning. Simple acts of kindness began to pour down on this family. Mercifully, his mechanic friend was able to drive a long way from home to help bring Carol's driving license for hospital admission. Friends continued to encourage them with their advice and presence. They learned of how friends would do anything for them. Chin's greatest life lessons were learned in the seminary of suffering. They learned what it means to be freed of our own selves, our self-confidence, and our tendency to depend on our own abilities rather than on God. Chin's situation is a case of being totally stripped down of one's human wisdom and skills, and to learn what it means to depend on God totally, and not be paralyzed by the fears of people.

This fast-paced book would keep readers on the edge of their seats as Chin describes trial after trial, and with each situation often making a turn for the worse. It forces one to ask about the meaning of faith and why God would allow such hardship to befall his children. Life is exactly like that. Sometimes we have it good, other times bad. Sometimes, it would seem like it is impossible to overcome the adversities staring us in the face. Chin's book is a testimony of the possible. It is a witness of God working despite the many trials that came. Ultimately, it shows us that God is always good, even when circumstances seem to suggest otherwise. Only time and the future would tell. The details may be unknown, but the end is a glorious future in God.

Rating: 4.25 stars of 5.


This book is provided to me courtesy of Bethany House Publishers and Graf-Martin Communications in exchange for an honest review. All opinions offered above are mine unless otherwise stated or implied.

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