I recently added a new book to my reading list, courtesy of Beacon Hill Press. While it wasn’t the type of book I would normally choose for myself, I did enjoy and relate to the message of hope in redemption found in Joseph Bentz’s Nothing is Wasted: How God Redeems What is Broken.
The author weaves together historical accounts from the Bible with modern events to create an entire book devoted to the ultimate song of redemption embedded in what may seem like the worst of circumstances. Bentz shows that something can be salvaged from our personal suffering and although it may be messy, unpleasant or downright devastating, God’s will and purpose are there, even if we can’t see them at first glance.
Examples of real suffering and redemption fuels Nothing is Wasted, and if you need to identify with mothers, husbands, victims, authors, everyday people or historical figures you can find it here. Bentz propels his ideas with recounts of horrific, yet healing, events from the Bible and mixes those with true traumatic struggles of people he has met along his way. From sinful acts come fulfilled prophecy, from pain and death come new beginnings.
The several stories of real people in this book include a family enduring death and suffering of several of its members, including three children, and how the goodness of God is reveled, and the story of a young woman on a different life course simply because she was hit by a car while walking across a street. One of my favorite accounts is of a young pastor’s wife and mother plagued by illness and death. While so many people prayed for a specific outcome she prayed for another, and the tale of how it all gloriously unfolded (no spoilers here) revealed God’s love and redemptive nature.
Nothing is Wasted is a good read especially for those folks who often give into their cynical side, who might be going through a traumatic season of life or for those who need a gentle reminder to listen for the music of redemption. With its roots in the Bible and its many personal accounts, this book reveals why we are drawn to stories of tragedy and the promise of eventual renewal. It also reminds us that we are not alone in our struggles and that God’s song of redemption is real. . . even if we aren’t listening.
JOSEPH BENTZ is the best-selling author of When God Takes Too Long, Silent
God,Pieces of Heaven, and four novels. He is professor of American literature at Azusa Pacific University. He earned a BA in English from Olivet Nazarene University and an MA and a Ph.D. in American literature from Purdue University. He lives with his wife and two children in Southern California. More information about his books and speaking can be found at www.josephbentz.com.