It has been twenty years since Sittser's wife, mother, and daughter were killed by a drunk diver, as told in A Grace Disguised. In the years that followed, Sittser began to ask what redemption really meant, given his unwanted circumstances. He tells his story as a way to explain and explore the theme of redemption. He sees his story as a witness to the truth that God redeems our stories through His.
Sittser dares us to surrender ourselves to God. God will take our story and integrate it into the great story of salvation. God reclaims us and restores us to a living relationship with Him.
Sittser shows from the Bible how smaller stories, like ours, fit into the larger story of God, and how they give us encouragement. God's redeeming work uniquely fits us for a special work of God.
Sittser now has the ability to look back over the two decades and see how God has been and is working in his life and those in his family. He has recently remarried. He has seen his surviving children grow and leave the house. He has seen how God has used the harsh conditions in his life to shape him, redeem him, and claim him for His own. We are encouraged to have the trust that God is doing the same with us.
Sittser wishes he could promise, as fairy tales conclude, that we would live happily ever after. In the very end, in heaven, that will be true. But now, God is still writing His story. We are still in the midst of it. We are still having our character defined and virtues established as the Author writes our story.
Sittser's book is encouraging because he writes from experience. He has struggled with God's redeeming work in the midst of pain and suffering.
His strong faith in understanding his place in God's story is encouragement to us.
Jerry Sittser is Professor and Chair of Theology at Whitworth University. Married to Patricia, he is the father of three children and two step-children, all grown.
Zondervan, 240 pages.
I received a complimentary egalley of this book for the purpose of this review.