How To Survive a Shipwreck (review)
Ever now and then there comes along a book that speaks to the deepest levels of the human spirit. Jonathan Martin does just that in his newest book, How to Survive a Shipwreck. With the musings of a poet, the heart of a pastor and the insights of a prophet, Martin masterfully shares the story of his own shipwreck, his struggles to survive and the lessons learned about a loving God that never left his side.
The book is extremely well written. Martin is a top-notch communicator with a talent for poetic prose. The book explores the tragic, personal shipwreck of Martin’s life. He shares the deepest, most intimate details of his life as he shares what he went through as his life, marriage and ministry fall apart. It’s not very often that people get to look into the darkest parts of a pastor who has fallen. Martin holds nothing back, save the details of the shipwreck which are not anyone’s business. He lets it all hang out: the raw emotions, the self-doubts, the intense struggle to survive, to just breathe. Martin allows the reader a very honest look into his deepest struggles and questions.
What’s it truly like when you are in the limelight when you have so many people looking to you and you blow it? What happens when you fall and have to face your own music of destruction? Martin lets you in on this journey to see the devastating destruction and devastation of a personal shipwreck. You can feel his pain, his agony and his own self-loathing as he battles to stay alive in a sea of uncertainty. You witness his wrestling with God over who he is, who he thought he was and how God sees him. You come to a place of hope that there is redemption on the other side of the shipwreck.
I greatly identified with this book as I have been through my own shipwreck. Whereas Martin’s was one of his own doing, my shipwreck came at the hands of others. Regardless of fault, a shipwreck is a shipwreck and one must learn to survive the chaos of the seas if one hopes to make it to land. This book will give you a beacon of hope. As I read this book, I was reminded of my own journey, my own pain, and my own struggle. But in reading this book I discovered that I had survived my shipwreck, that I had made it to land and that I was completely dry and ready to move on. Martin survived his shipwreck and became a better man because of it. I did as well. I believe that anyone dealing with a personal shipwreck will greatly benefit from the insights in this book. For those that have never had a shipwreck, I believe you will benefit from the honest, raw story of how one can fall from great heights and be transformed by the love and grace of God.
Very few books would I consider a must read, or even a book that deserves to be read again and again, but this is one of those books.
Full Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.