A while back I stumbled upon Joshua M. Hood's site. I find him quite witty and often enjoy his posts. So when he wrote an e-book, and then offered it for free, I jumped on it. I planned on reading it right away, and somehow it got completely forgotten in my kindle library, until I really needed it.
The concept sounds pretty simple: using Romans 8:28, he talks about how God really does use all things for the good of those who love him. He uses stories and examples that we are able to look in hindsight and go well yes, Joshua, you are quite right, that worked out well.
It sounds juvenile to say that. And my honest to God expectations of the book were of some juvenile level. Don't get me wrong, but when you are trying to digest through John Piper's Desiring God and wrapping your head around the concepts he introduces, a book which promises to make you see bad things as good sounds easy enough for one sitting.
And I did read it on one sitting. Not because it was shallow, but because I just needed to keep going. I just kept nodding along, going yes, yes, yes....
One of his points is that if we were to write our own stories, they would differ greatly from God's plans. And if you think about it, we are all indeed constantly trying to nudge God to see things from our point of view, and send some much needed help since our intentions really are good. Does that really fit with the idea that we believe that what God wants for us is good for us? Or do we have to rethink what is good?
Joshua's book was a gentle poke to expose my own sin. It helped me process the complexity of atheism that is beneath not trusting God completely. It pointed out my idolatry in placing all sorts of physical and material things to try to make sure I'll make it through the day (because God forbid I should be caught of guard and have no money in the bank when I need it!), and it lovingly pointed me to the way back to His loving arms.
I already had great fondness over Romans 8:28, but after reading this book, I feel it has been permanently etched into my heart. All I can do is thank Joshua for working so hard to make it clear to me. This book was an instrument of the Holy Spirit in my life, and I really do recommend it!