Even if you could be the perfect parent, bad things are going to happen in your child’s life. Not because God is punishing your child, but because we live in a fallen world. As much as we would love to spare our children any pain, we can’t. Your kids will have disappointments, heartbreaks, illnesses, injuries and other painful experiences during their lives. How they handle the pain though, can mean the difference between living a godly, productive life and being stuck in the pain forever.
Having had a tough year personally, I was excited to get a chance to read Nick Vujicic’s latest book, Unstoppable. (Click to read the first chapter for free.) If you are unfamiliar with Nick Vujicic, he is an Australian Christian speaker who was born without any arms and legs. Evidently, his first book told his story in depth. In this book, he chooses to address issues people in pain may face, giving them hope and practical godly advice.
I believe this book is a must read for any teen or adult facing adversity. He focuses on his personal disability, but also tells the stories of people facing serious illness, bullying and loss. I love his attitude. God does not cause our pain, but He can make great beauty and joy spring from it. Nick tells the story of how he and others who have lived through painful experiences can reach thousands of hurting people in a way people who have lived a carefree life cannot. He chooses to reach the hurting to teach them about God’s love and plan for them.
Personally, I wish everyone could read this book, even if they have somehow managed to avoid great pain in their lives. I love his message. No matter how hopeless things may seem now, God has a plan for your life and you just need to make it through today. He even addresses his own suicide attempt as a child. He does a great job of explaining his thought process and the pain he was in emotionally. He also reveals what changed his mind and how he could never have guessed at the time all the wonderful things that have happened to him since then. He continually encourages his readers to choose life and serving God over just focusing on their personal pain and loss.
Nick, doesn’t just offer his own story, but points out warning signs for hurting people and those caring for them to know when extra outside professional help is needed. For those who aren’t in need of professional help, he gives encouragement and a different perspective for them to consider. I believe his book offers hope not just to the disabled, but to everyone who is experiencing pain in their lives.
My only complaint is his slightly confused theology in the last chapter. He correctly points out we should teach the Bible and only the Bible. He goes on to muddy the waters a bit, by implying it doesn’t matter which church you attend. My concern is that a number of preachers and churches are preaching error. I wished he had reminded his readers to check everything they are taught against scripture.To an inexperienced Christian, he also makes the need to be a Christian over other “god” religions a little vague at the end. It is such a small part of the book though, that the pain I think he can help people overcome is worth a possible momentary theological confusion.
If your teen is struggling with feeling different, have him read this book. I kept having the thought that if Nick could experience what he has and still be productive for God, then so can I – no matter what I face. I am not sure how long the lesson will stick with me, but I think he presents a strong case for your hurting teen to read.
As I work with people and see the pain in their lives, I am beginning to realize Christian resiliency is an important skill for our children to have. In future posts, I will give you some activities for beginning to develop the trait in your children or the children you teach.
I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review. I am painfully honest though, and would tell you if I didn’t like it. I am keeping it on my reference shelf of parenting books in my library!