Many of you are familiar with Les Ferguson, Jr. He writes regularly here at Wineskins and at his personal site. Les wrote a book this year titled, “Still Wrestling: Faith Renewed Through Brokenness” and I want to tell you a little about this book and how it could be a real blessing to your soul.
First of all let me say I am biased. Sometimes I review books of people I haven’t ever met and don’t know much about. But I know Les and so it is hard to not let that bias shine through in the review. Here’s the thing. Part of what makes the book what it is is that Les is who he is. Les is a man who loves God, loves his family, and will bless you if you get to spend some time with him either in person or through reading his book. The book is very genuine and I think you will get an accurate snapshot of who this man is and how God works through brokenness if you read his book.
You can’t really talk about the book without talking about his story and one event in particular, the murder of his wife Karen and son Cole. I expected that story to play out over the course of the book in a much longer narrative but as it turns out it is told in the introduction, before you even hit chapter one. But the repercussions of that story are told through the rest of the book.
The premise of the book is that Les is a mess but that isn’t really any different than the people in the Bible and any of the rest of us. That makes the book something we can all relate to. On top of that, Les’ writing style is relatable because his writing is so personable and personal. He owns his problems so he can face his problems. Each chapter highlights a different person in the Bible, the mess they were and that they got into, and how God redeemed each and every one. That leads to how God is working on us today as well. Each chapter ends with some discussion and reflection questions that would work well for individual reading or group study.
While I really think a lot of people would benefit from the book there are a few groups who might benefit most. First are those who are Christians but are struggling with why God allows all these messes to remain messy for so long. This would be the perfect book for the person struggling with doubts. This would even be a great book for a non-Christian to read and understand what redemption is all about. Last, this is a great book if you need encouragement. That seems like an odd group because the story of loss in and of itself isn’t that encouraging but it is real and to see what God has done with it is very encouraging.
I hope you will get this book, read it, and share it with someone else who might benefit from it. Pick it up for a reading club and work through the discussion questions. You will be blessed if you do. Thank you Les for writing an outstanding book and for opening your life up with such vulnerability that we can all grow closer to God because of this.