Larry Crabb draws on the story of Naomi from the book of Ruth as a backdrop for his book, Shattered Dreams : God’s unexpected pathway to joy (WaterBrook Press, 2001). Naomi returns to Bethlehem with her dreams of domestic bliss in tatters. Her husband is dead and so are both her sons. Yet we find God is still working in her life and by the end of the story she is a contented grandmother. Crabb writes about why God allows our dreams to be shattered and about His purposes when we go through times of suffering.

Knowing how I felt when my own dreams have been shattered it was encouraging to reflect and realize God has indeed been doing a work in my life during those difficult times. God’s goal is to help us towards a deeper relationship with Himself whereas we would simply like a comfortable pain free life. When God does not relieve our pain in the way we think He ought it pushes us on a journey towards a more authentic faith. Our pain no matter how excruciating is only temporary in God’s larger scheme of things. Crabb tells many stories of people he has met plus incidents from the Bible to explain his message.

A bit heavy going at times but overall a good read.