Dr. Larry Crabb is a well-known psychologist, conference and seminary speaker, Bible teacher, popular author and founder/director of New Way Ministries. In his book “Shattered Dreams: God’s Unexpected Path to Joy”, he writes about our shattered dreams as being “ordained opportunities for the Spirit first to awaken and then satisfy our highest dream” (5).
Crabb uses the story of Naomi from the Book of Ruth in the Bible as the guide for his book. He begins by telling the devastating loss that Naomi faced in a foreign land with the loss of her husband and both of her sons. The story of Naomi is woven throughout the entire book in an interesting and touching way. This woman lost everything that she thought was important and yet God was able to use her story and her life for a deeper purpose. Crabb says that “a profound encounter with pain brings us to make a choice. Either we change or we sink into bitterness, despair, or hedonism” (84). By using the illustration of Naomi, he teaches us the way to become closer to God through the grief of a shattered dream.
“Life is not an opportunity for things to go well so we can feel good. Life is an opportunity for us to be forgiven for requiring God to make us feel good and for turning from Him when he doesn’t.” (140) Crabb is trying to turn us from cheap grace and get in tune with the true grace that comes from a deeper relationship with God.
This is not a book that you will probably pick up and read in one sitting. It requires time for some of the concepts to sink in. It would make an excellent book for a small group to study together, especially since it comes with an eight week workbook.
I received this book for free from Waterbrok Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.