Christian Book Review: In His Hands by Jason Webb
The sovereignty of God is an anchor in the unforgiving thrashing of waves, a beacon of light in the dark of night. More than an abstract concept, the absolute sovereignty of God is a life-sustaining truth; a truth that Jason Webb had to embrace early in life. Cancer. Plant Explosion. Massive Auto Accident. Trial upon trial which thrust him to the feet of Jesus, leaning and depending solely on God. In his book In His Hands, Webb recounts vividly both his story of trauma and trust, of pain and his Provider, of suffering and his Savior.
There was nothing extraordinary about Jason’s life. Growing up in a traditional church, God played a little role in his life. He graduated high school and college was “a blur of alcohol, skipped classes, road trips with guys from school.” His performance forced him to withdraw from school. Hitting this low point in his life, he found himself working third shift in a fabric mill and realized he had to go back to school.
In the same season, providentially, God brought his future wife Angie into his life. It was through Angie, that God brought Jason back to church and eventually back into relationship with Him. God would use Jason later in life to become a Sunday school teacher, a youth leader, a lead worshipper, counselor, and author … but not before a period of suffering. And that is an understatement.
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Life began quickly. It wasn’t long after they were married that Jason’s faith would be rocked to the core. Within the time frame of a few years, Jason was diagnosed with cancer, underwent a painful process of therapy, found himself in the aftermath of a chemical plant explosion, and if that wasn’t enough, was injured in a major car accident.
“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress, my God in whom I trust’.” Like the arms of a father holding his child, the first two verses of Psalm 91 held Jason securely. To rest in the Lord’s shadow was Jason’s only resort. It was in this place that Jason discovered an intimacy and trust in the Lord like never before. A father himself now, Jason knew that without the guidance of God, Jason would fail. Through these trials, time and time again, Jason experienced God in ways that will serve to encourage us, as they encouraged him.
Reading this book, I found myself marveling at Jason’s seeming bad luck, as the world might call it. Yet, to see Jason’s faith and how he fought to maintain a Godward perspective on all of life was both encouraging and challenging to me. It was encouraging to me and grew my confidence in the complete sovereignty of God in all things. It was equally challenging to me as I realized how prone I was to complain about things that could not compare with Webb’s struggles.
A weakness of this book was that it simply did not flow well. Don’t get me wrong, the story itself was captivating, yet it failed to create a suspense at times I felt it was needed. The style was just too slow for the urgency of the story it was trying to communicate. Finally, I felt that some the chapters towards the end felt a bit disconnected — like he was trying to add short bible lessons to finish the book.
While I feel the style of the story can be improved to match the sense of urgency, I enjoyed and appreciate the story God has made of Jason’s life and is continuing to write. It is clear through this quick read, that God has his hand on Jason. In His Hands is a story reminding us that ultimately, we are all in His hands, regardless of the illusion of our self-sovereignty. I hadn’t heard of Jason before reading this, and perhaps you haven’t either. But more important than who he is, is Whose he is. And this book points to Him.