Pete Wilson's "Plan B: What do you do when God doesn't show up the way you thought He would?" has a title that is perfectly descriptive, yet had me convinced it wouldn't be terribly interesting. As someone who's been a Christian for many years and heard a lot of sermons, I thought going in that I had this book pegged. And in one way, it does repeat the concepts that have been preached countless times, only because those concepts are based on truths found throughout Scripture. And in fact, the first few chapters lived down to my expectations. Not that the message isn't a valid one, but I simply had no interest in hearing something that is not news to me.
But to my pleasant surprise, the message grew on me, and offered this veteran believer some fresh things to ponder. The message, at its core, is a simple one: in life, stuff happens. Nobody's immune to failure, disappointment, even death or divorce. Things happen in the course of a person's life which take them by surprise, slap them in the face, or knock them down. And as much as the Prosperity Gospel crowd doesn't like to admit it: these things happen to Christians, too.
I'm going to quote a long passage here from page 96, because I think it's very well said:
I'm wondering how different life would be for each one of us if we chose to view our circumstances and our relationships as the gifts they are. What if we viewed our hardships and challenges as opportunities to be the men and women God has created us to be? ...
God is God, and He doesn't owe any of us anything. But He gives us everything including Himself. ...
He does it His own time...with the big picture in mind, with little regard to the way we think it should go. And so often, ...instead of taking away our pain and frustration and confusion in our Plan Bs, He offers us the promise of His presence. But this is not a consolation prize."
For some who are confused about why things are not going as planned, this is a must-read. For those for whom things are going well at the moment, this is worth reading. You never know when the truth contained therein will come in handy. Just knowing He is up to great things can be helpful when life is tough.
Disclaimer: The publisher of this book, Thomas Nelson, provided me with a free copy of Plan B for review. There was no obligation to give a favorable review. I liked this book and I recommend it.