Book Review: Every Bitter Thing is Sweet by Sara Hagerty
The full soul loatheth an honeycomb, but to the hungry soul, every bitter thing is sweet. Proverbs 27:7
I love the Proverbs. I probably owe that to my uncle, who is the adult Sunday School teacher at our church. He has taught through them several times, and every time there is something new to learn. Every little verse is like it's own sermon--sometimes a warning, other times a promise or an admonition. Even after years of reading through the book of Proverbs, there are still verses that come out as fresh and new to me. Every Bitter Thing is Sweet by Sara Hagerty has literally changed the way I look at life, through the words of Proverbs 27:7. Using her own life as a background, she shows how hunger for God changes every situation in our life. When we view everything that happens to us as a part of His plan for us, even the bitter things are sweet. Sara's longing for a child, multiple African adoptions, the death of her father and eventual conception of her own child, are proof that there is sweetness to be found from God even in bitter times. This book has a great, powerful message to those of us who sometimes say to ourselves, "God is good, but is God good, to me?" The answer every time is a resounding, YES!
While I admire the thought-provoking message of this book, I didn't always like the way it was written. Sara is obviously a talented writer, but I think in some instances she writes over her readers' heads. I struggled to understand her metaphors and examples. I would read a phrase or paragraph over and over and still be left wondering, "What does that mean?" I felt like there needed to be more information to help me to know what she was talking about. Her real-life stores were too short and lost amid the wordy narratives. She tended to jump around between multiple events without much to bridge the gaps. She talked about struggles in her marriage and how it was so hard, but she never really indicated why it was hard, or how she struggled. I'm not sure that all of the disappointment she felt was due to hunger for God. Maybe sometimes it was just discontent with her lot in life.
I can relate to many of her issues, her feelings of inadequacy and self-doubt. Even as I scratched my head and tried to figure out some parts of this book, others made me nod my head and say, "I've been there, too." She truly paints a picture of a God who loves us, pursue us, and remembers us, even when we forget about Him. That was one of my favorite reminders in this book, that He remembers. I feel like this book is good, but it could have been great if it had only been edited a little. Still, it did open my eyes to things I'd never though about before, so I'm glad I read it.
I was given an advance copy of this book by the publisher in exchange for this review. All opinions are my own.