The subtitle of Pete Wilson's book, Plan B, is "What do you do when God doesn't show up the way you thought that he would?" Throughout the book, Wilson thoroughly examines dozens of situations, both Biblical and of modern-day people, to see what a Plan B looks like, and how we should handle it. From Joseph's trip to Egypt in slavery, to David's flight from Saul after being anointed as the next king, from stories of infertility to death of children, failing marriages and lost jobs, Plan B discusses disappointment, grief, hope, and faith in the face of lost dreams. Pete Wilson acknowledges that he cannot give us answers, but he can point us to the cross and the One who is there for us through every step of His plan for us.
Bear with me, I have a lot to say about this book. I am not sure why it took me so long to get around to reading it, but I certainly wish I had read it sooner. Plan B is the most down-to-earth Christian living book I have read in a very long time. Pete Wilson is a humble, self-aware author who takes himself very lightly, but never treats his readers' or his subjects' pain casually. An author who admits he is in need of the same answers he seeks to write about is one the reader can trust to dig deep and give truthful guidance. This book does just that. As Wilson walks through each example, he stops to examine it at every step, but he never leaves a story hanging just to make a single point that might not hold true to the rest of the story. Every story he starts, he works through fully, giving his points and conclusions more credence than simple bits and pieces linked to each individual idea. Both his Biblical examples, and his real-life people follow this system, and while I was sometimes on edge waiting to see how a story would turn out, I could trust that he would come back to it and finish it for me.
I have a long list of quotes from this book that resonated with me; I hate to give them without context, but maybe it will give you a taste of his writing and style.
"We must decide if we are going to put our faith in what God does or in who God is." (Emphasis mine) The idea that even if our life circumstance is our Plan B, we should be able to trust that God has not messed up, and that he is there for us regardless of our circumstances.
Wilson also talks a lot about waiting on God.
"The question isn't 'Can you trust God?' but 'Can you wait?"
"...waiting may be the most important something you can and need to do.
What you're doing is allowing your hope to grow up. And if you can't be still and wait and hope, even when you have no reason to hope, you can't become the person God created when he thought you into existence." Waiting is an important part of our Plan Bs; waiting to see how it turns out, waiting to see why we even had to go through a Plan B, waiting to see just what God is doing.
In addition to the myriad of quotes from Wilson that strike a chord, he quotes several other authors and pastors with aplomb. He uses them with enough frequency to lend weight to his own ideas, but he does not overdo it to the point of feeling that he is just rehashing other people's thoughts.
While the topic of Plan B is a difficult one, the book itself is an easy, yet thought-provoking read. I give it 5 stars for depth of topic, ease of reading, and real-life practicality. I would definitely recommend it to anyone struggling with how their life is going versus how they thought it would. And, really, isn't that most, if not all, of us?
I received a copy of this book for free as part of Thomas Nelson's BookSneeze program for bloggers. I was not required to provide a positive review.
Peter Wilson has the three things that make a book like Plan B: What Do You Do When God Doesn't Show Up The Way You Thought He Would? a definite keeper: (1) a subject that is both timely and timeless; (2) an easy, conversational style; and (3) a personal transparency that lifts his writing up from "let me tell you what you should do in these circumstances" to "let me share how I've experienced this so that you might glean some nuggets of truth from my pain".
Plan B made me laugh and wipe away a tear or two. Most of all, it made me think. This is not a book with easy answers to difficult questions. Rather, it provokes thought not so much about one's circumstances as about hope and faith beyond one's circumstances. It is difficult to read a book like this and not find something that is encouraging or that speaks to one's situation.
I received this book as part of the BookSneeze program by Thomas Nelson in exchange for a review. I was supposed to release my review the day it was published but wouldn't you know it ... disaster struck.
New disasters in my life have recently come up and I figured now was the time to give this book another read. I was scared but I did it anyway.
Not all of the content of this book is encouraging if you're looking for Christian platitudes to simply soothe your soul. Nor does it contain any steps to recovery (do this and God will do this sort of thing). And the title thew me, as I have always believed that we, God's people, are Plan A and there is no Plan B. But that's not what this book refers to.
There are no easy answers here. But there is hope. And although most of us who are followers of Christ already know, He is our hope. And as most of us who are followers of Christ often need that reminder, here it is.
The greatest reminder, especially since our family is going through so much pain (we are both disabled and in deep trouble financially to the point that we don't always get our medications that we can't afford and our very home is on the verge of being lost), is that God is STILL RIGHT HERE. I've asked my husband, my friends, "Where is God?" and they've told me He's right here. I guess hearing a stranger remind me of that finally got through my thick head.
I'm not saying this book removed all of my doubts and fears, but it reminded to seek God and remember He is within those doubts and fears and somehow will see me through.
I just finished reading this book for our weekly ladies' Bible study at church and was very disappointed and surprised at some of the stories that I felt were totally inappropriate and wondered why Pete Wilson thought they were necessary to include in the book. He is definitely a little too liberal for me -- guess he tries to appeal to the younger crowd. Also, he states that the phrase "God will never give you more than you can handle" is totally unscriptural, that it is whacked theology and maybe it is found in Hallucinations 4:32. Has he read 1 Corinthians 10:13? Although there were some good parts in the book, I just found a lot of it to be a little too far out there for me.
My life took an unexpected/unplanned turn a couple months back; so did a friend's life. So when I saw this title I hoped it would have some perspective to offer us. And it did. In fact it was precisely the word we needed to regain a bit of equilibrium and perspective. Pete Wilson has crafted a pastoral book. By that I mean he writes as someone who has experienced and walked with others through a wide range of personal reversals. He writes with a large dose of compassion grounded in good scriptural context. I recommend this book for anyone who is going through a Plan B twist in their life, and also for those close to anyone struggling through a life circumstance that isn't what they had planned or wanted.