My copy of The Seven Stories that Shape Your Life by Gerard Kelly is dog-eared. This book is so powerful and revelatory of God’s love that I’ve been compelled to underline profusely, ponder day and night, and weep over it. As I’ve read this book for Kregel Publishing, I’ve often said out loud, “I hope I can do this book justice with my review.”
Simply put, you must read this book. You will come away with an understanding of the overarching intent of God for all eternity — His intent to be in loving fellowship with us forever and ever and how He has carried out His passion for us from before Eden. How we understand the story of God’s relationship with humanity shapes our view of Him, our response to Him, and our view of ourselves. Without recognizing His great love for us, we struggle to find our God-given purpose, a purpose God clearly wants us to discover.
Each chapter examines a theme that originally touched specific people in the Bible and then was exhibited across the full scope of the Scriptures, revealing even more aspects of God’s love. Then each chapter examines how we personally experience this same reality within our own lives — we each have our own rebirth, our exodus, our time in the desert, our time in exile. The realization of God’s presence in these universal life experiences inspires deeper love for Him. We comprehend the specific facets of His love shown in our own life circumstances, discovering our purpose in His story as a result.
A view of the chapter titles gives a peek at the many characteristics of our relationship with God, each giving a glimpse of God’s action, how we respond, and who God is.
- Creation: Walk with the Worldmaker
- Vocation: Depend on the Dreamgiver
- Liberation: Be Changed by the Chainbreaker
- Formation: Hold on to the Heartseeker
- Limitation: Find Strength in the Faithbuilder
- Incarnation: Follow the Footwasher
- Restoration: Be Filled by the Firestarter
This book is unlike any Christian book I’ve ever read. It has impacted my life as powerfully as The Sacred Romance by Brent Curtis and John Eldredge, a book which also approaches relationship with God from the aspect of His great love and how that love impacts our lives in unexpected and transformative ways.
I highly recommend The Seven Stories that Shape Your Life by Gerard Kelly. With an engaging storytelling and poetic voice, rather than ponderous theological terms and dry explanations of deep truths, the author brings together God’s story, revealing His personality as shown by His loving actions. We glimpse God’s dream for us. As we view Him more clearly, we are then impacted deeply and are drawn toward Him in love and thus into action. It’s a book to read and read again, camping in the places where He works at this very moment within our lives.
Buy. Read. Be blessed.