Ricardo Sanchez, It's Not Over - Book Review
Unexpected, difficult life experiences carry the potential to either make us stronger or destroy us. The determining factor in which outcome is realized is how we respond to these situations.
Worship leader and author Ricardo Sanchez knows this well, as he and his family endured one of these difficult life events, when his youngest son Josiah dove headfirst into the shallow end of a pool, and suffered a devastating spinal injury. This event, and God’s miraculous working in and through it are driving forces behind why Ricardo wrote his first book, It’s Not Over: How to Keep Moving Forward When You Feel You’re Losing the Fight.
It has been an absolute pleasure to read this book. It’s Not Over is full of wisdom, and there is so much I could write about; however, I only have space here to highlight a couple of my favorite parts of the book. You’ll just have to read the book yourself to discover the rest!
Ricardo opens the book by telling the story of how he learned of the accident that led to his son’s injury, as he was walking off a plane in Jacksonville, Florida. This segment of the story sets up the rest of the book well as he takes us on the journey to find strength and victory, with God’s help, as we go through what he calls “it’s not over” moments.
One of the highlights of this book for me is found in chapter 4, titled, “The Valley of Why.” In this chapter, Ricardo discusses the part of the journey through “it’s not over” experiences where we ask the ‘why’ question. He wisely points out that staying in a state of asking this question can derail us in our journey towards victory.
I love how he encourages us to turn our “valley of why” into worship. Circumstances that lead us to the valley of why may not make sense, but God is at work putting the pieces back together. It is this trust that God is working for us, even if we don’t see Him at work, that gives us a confident hope that our circumstance will turn in our favor, and it encourages us to worship God in the midst of our adversity.
In the shortest chapter of the book (chapter 9) titled, “Don’t Forget to Remember,” Ricardo writes about remembering what God has done for us in our ‘it’s not over” experiences. Using the story from Joshua 4, where the Israelites, led by Joshua, crossed the Jordan River and subsequently placed twelve stones in the middle of the river (one for each tribe of Israel) as a memorial to what God did for them, Ricardo encourages us to erect memorials of our own, to not only spark our own memory, but to also serve as a testimony to others of what God has done for us. This act of memorializing God’s work in our lives is such an important part of our journey out of difficult circumstances, and I am grateful that Ricardo did not neglect this in his book.
One final highlight I’d like to mention in this review is the final chapter of the book, devoted to some good old fashion testimony time! There are several incredible stories told by some friends of the author of how they journeyed with God through their own “it’s not over” moments. It is a perfect way to close this book, and if you hadn’t already been encouraged through the preceding nine chapters (but trust me, you will have!), then you will be once you’ve finished this one!
Filled with an abundance of hope and encouragement, It’s Not Over has great potential to lift the reader enduring a difficult experience out of despair, and to strengthen the reader who may at some point face future hardship.
Whether you are currently in the valley, or enjoying a mountain top season in the journey of life, I highly recommend that you read this book. I promise that you will find encouragement and hope - and remember - “when God is in it, ‘it’s not over’!”
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