Sometimes you stumble on a book that you can hardly finish because after the first or second chapter you can think of at least three people that you want to share it with. No More Faking Fine: Ending the Pretending, (Zondervan 2017) is that book. Esther Fleece had it made, except for one little thing. Her perfect life was a sham. On the outside, everything was wonderful, but on the inside, everything was falling apart.
Esther’s story has so many levels and layers that it’s hard to know where to begin. But two things stood out for me: the first is Lament’, and the next is ‘forgiveness’.
Let’s start with lament. Admit it, it’s hard to be mad at God, especially when everyone is telling you to suck it up, to get over it. But when we turn to the Psalms, there are so many examples of what it means to turn to God when things turn sour. Individuals poured out their heartache, their heartbreak, their grief and sorrow to God. And so did the nation called Israel (The Old Testament Israel: the twelve tribes led by the sons of Jacob—whose name had been changed to Israel—this has nothing to do with the 21st century nation state called Israel.)
Sometimes there is nothing we can do except listen to God as He calls us to Him, as He calls us into a season of Lament. A time when we pull back from the Theater of perfect lives, and let other people, let God speak into our lives. Just like for the Psalmist, just like for Israel, things happen in our lives which we struggle to deal with. We don’t understand them, others don’t understand them, and as Fleece points out, often our friends follow the example of Job’s friends, they try to come up with a reason. Sometimes we just have to accept the fact that the reason is that we live in a fallen world and is not because God is mad at us. (see page 120).
And as we go through the season of Lament, the ‘desert experience’ that many Christians know all too well, the bonus is often that we learn about forgiveness. And forgiving equals freeing. Forgiveness is freedom.
I want to give this book to several people who are struggling with these issues, but I want to read it again and again.
I received a copy of this book in exchange for a review.