Opening the pages of Debbie Wilson’s new book, Little Faith, Big God, was something I anticipated ever since she shared a bit about her plan for it. The book of Hebrews in the New Testament is a favorite of mine and the well-known chapter about faith (Hebrews 11) was bound to be a treasure trove of discoveries and her book did not disappoint.
The book is written as an eight-week Bible study with each of the weeks divided into five bite-sized sections to be read on five different days with questions to nudge the reader to dig deeper and find personal application from these heroes of the faith.
Debbie’s heart for this passage is evident within a few pages of opening the book as she writes:
“Reading how God dealt with his flawed children in Hebrews 11 has helped me give myself grace when I mess up.”
How right she is!
And how much we all need that reminder. Reading this book has given me fresh glimpses of that in my own life and nuggets to ponder long after I finished reading the last page. We read and hear much about faith, but there are few places that condense what faith looks like as it is lived out as Hebrews 11 does.
We look at the names of the heroes in this chapter, but it isn’t likely any one of them would have considered him or herself a hero back then. A careful reading of the life of each one shows each with more than a few imperfections and despite how small faith might have been, our big God showed up to demonstrate He could be trusted and was exactly who He said He was.
Debbie says it so well:
“God is like the ocean; I’m like a child trying to understand the mysteries of the deep from my small pail of water. I can’t understand someone so much greater than I am. But I can trust that he is wiser and more loving than I can imagine.”
A study of Hebrews 11 reminds us that God loves us even though we mess up. He knew we would and that is why Jesus died to remove sin that separated us from Him.
“God does not weigh our good deeds against our bad ones. He weighs our sin by whether we’ve trusted or rejected Jesus.”
If you haven’t delved into Hebrews 11 for a bit, this book will remind you of how varied the lives of these heroes are. We see Enoch who walked with God in close friendship, Noah who built an ark to save creation from the judgment of the flood despite it never having rained on the earth, Jacob, the deceiver, and more. When we think about who they were and what we know about them, it is hard to imagine how they made it into the “hall of fame of faith.”
As Debbie guides you through Hebrews 11 you will be reminded how the lives of those we read about point to foundation stones for us to stand on:
“God’s more concerned with what he is accomplishing in me than what I’m achieving. His goal is to teach me to trust him.”
Throughout this book Debbie shares bits of her own faith journey and how God proved himself over and over again. In the process, you see how God has grown faith in her and uses it to nudge us in our own faith journey.
I confess that I am not a huge fan of books that are written as Bible studies. Too often the stories march across the page in lock step with things I have already heard and the questions do not poke me to think more deeply, but Debbie’s book is different and if you have that sense from too many women’s Bible study books I want to encourage you to be refreshed by this one. I don’t think you will be disappointed – I certainly wasn’t.
A few lines before Debbie finishes the last page, she reminds us of a precious truth to savor:
“God’s story isn’t over.”