Friday, September 6, 2013

Book Review: "Tenacious" by Jeremy and Jennifer Williams

A few months ago the pastor of the church I attend opened his sermon by saying he visits a great number of ill people every year. Some of those sick people will recover and others will not. He then said there are a lot of horrible diseases, but the worst disease you can get is ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease. I say this, because of what I've seen. He then went into his sermon.

The first time I read about anyone with ALS was when I read Mitch Albom's heartbreaking Tuesdays with Morrie. I remember Morrie first sensed something was wrong when his foot went through the pedal of the car he was driving. The symptoms, at first, are simple.

Three days ago, Tenacious: How God Used a Terminal Diagnosis to Turn a Family and a Football Team Into Champions was released by Thomas Nelson Publishers.

I finished the book last night; and I wish I could have known Jeremy Williams at some point in life. Being that he is a fellow believer in Christ, I will encounter him in eternity. Scripture tells us we will recognize those we knew on earth.  I don't know him, but I felt my experience in reading his life story will allow me to recognize this man as he stands perfected (physically, emotionally, spiritually) in Christ's glory.

The book takes us on a life path of both Jeremy Williams and his wife, Jennifer Williams. We get an almost too detailed account of their respective young lives, but eventually, we witness his college football successes, along with his high school coaching career in the Georgia public high school system.

In the middle of the pain for the Williams family, we also learn about how their son is born with Spina Bifida. Eventually, after a tremendous amount of assistance from their families, their community and their church, the Williams family got treated to a new home courtesy of the former ABC Television Network series, Extreme Makeover Home Edition. This book makes you miss that program. It obviously helped a lot of needy people. ABC is now too busy with Revenge and Scandal.

Jeremy Williams was diagnosed with ALS while he was still in his late thirties. This disease is brutal no matter the age of the victim, but to sustain this at such a young age is catastrophic.

There is no cure from ALS, but Jeremy and his wife are believers in the power of Jesus Christ. The book is crammed with examples of their faith, their hope and their love. At the time of this writing, Jeremy Williams is still alive, but at this point he isn't looking for a healing, even though they believe in miracles (and so do I). He is waiting on the day he will get his crown from the mighty and majestic God he has served through most of his life.

The book isn't particularly well written, which is sad, but it is a story of one man's life and love that would be worthwhile to explore. 

May God Himself hold Jeremy close until the moment he exits his life on this earth. His faith will outlast all things, including disease.

God allows bad things to happen to good people. It's a fact of our lives. God allowed the Holocaust. Deep faith is a difficult concept for non-believers to understand, but when you have it, it is indeed a source of peace of mind and joy of heart. I don't fear death, but I do hope it all happens in one day. Yeah, I'm a chicken, but in spite of myself I will see glory one day.  God bless Jeremy Williams.

Tenacious can be purchased at your local book store, through Barnes and Noble and on Amazon.
Thomas Nelson Publishers

"See, I will not forget you. I have carved you in the palm of my hand." Isaiah 49:15

Copyright Read On Read Now 2013