Skip to main content

When Mountains Won't Move by Jacob Hawk

When Mountains Won’t Move: How to Survive a Struggling Faith by Jacob Hawk

These days we hear a lot about people losing their faith, finding their faith, or being lost and eventually shoring up their faith near the end of life, but rarely do we hear about surviving a struggling faith.  Pastor Jacob Hawk in his new book, When Mountains Won’t Move, seeks to address the issue of struggling faith with a sincerity and biblical faithfulness that is both wonderful and unique.  The beauty of this book is that Jacob doesn’t wave to us from the side of the road as we read but opens up his own struggles with faith, giving us a sense that we are on the same road as he.

Jacob lays the table at the beginning of his book by addressing some similar experiences humans face; the hard work of an employee hoping for a promotion but being passed over, and the death of a family member.  These events catapult us into the front row of a theatre that is playing the movie Struggling and Not Sure How to Move on.  We cringe at the thought that life is not supposed to be this way.  Yet, Jacob offers us some sane medicine that soothes even the deepest pain.  In the chapter 2, Jacob writes that the first principles is to Embrace Weakness, “to confess that we don’t have it all together, to admit…that even we-Jesus following, Bible-believing people – need to return to the basic matters of faith (19).”  There is a healing that occurs when the church exudes a beautiful solidarity for others as we all confess with Jacob, “We’re broken too.  Let’s heal together (26).”

In this little book there is simple yet profound message here about struggling faith and the church.  After Jacob’s youth group in sixth grade went to Arlington, Texas to help paint the house of a Mr. Pheres, a retired painter, the strength of the gospel showed up on their return trip.  Mr. Pheres, though not sure about the kid’s painting quality, embraced this act as a moment of grace.  He writes about his own struggle with faith, “I’ve heard a lot of sermons in my day.  For 80 years, people and preachers have visited my house, begging me to come to church.  I’ve read books.  I’ve been to seminars.  I’ve even been to the potlucks.  But I never believed it, and I never understood why, until I met you kids.  When you painted my house, on your own time, with your own money, I finally saw the love of Jesus (53).” 

Yet, Jacob challenges those who see the church as irrelevant, boring, or full of hypocrites by pointing out that the church is real, a gift, heavenly, it cares and its stable.  Even more, he asks a pointed question, “Do you really think that if you turn to your job, your money, or anything else, you will always find what you need (78)?”  If the church has damaged your faith, an apology is on offer.  Although the church can’t bring healing to every scar we experience on this earth, she does offer grace, healing, and hope without reservation.

I was really encouraged by this book and the way Jacob really offered healing to those with struggling faith, including myself.

Thanks to Start2Finish and BookCrash for the copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.


Popular posts from this blog

My Favorite Color is Blue. Sometimes.: A Journey Through Loss with Art and Color

My Favorite Color is Blue. Sometimes by Roger Hutchison

Taking a look at the digital copy of this book allowed me to look at the striking art inside the book, and its connection to the words of the page that were focusing on loss.  Looking at the physical copy of the book even brings to life more the staggering similarity that the words and pain have together on the page.  The focus here is how certain colors express the sentiments of those who have lost a loved one.  I did not think that I would relate too well to this book until two days ago, as we lost our little boy, who was only 17 weeks old.  The pain is palpable and yet the pages of this book give me good reason to think of my son with a sense of pride and hope.

Roger writes, "You are a shooting star. Your light trails across the heavens.  I blinked and you were gone."  We were full of anticipation at the first and second ultrasounds, and there was the picture of our little boy Jackson, his developing face and little …

The Catholic Novelist in the Protestant South

Mystery and Manners: Occasional Prose by Flannery O’Connor
A profound simplicity of thought, a penetrating vision of what it means to be human, Flannery O’Connor embodies the spirit of bringing fictional stories to life.  Others might call her fiction ‘grotesque’ in a rather unflattering manner, but O’Connor was not content to live up to their criticisms.  In this short book of collected essay and lectures, Mystery and Manners, editors and friends of Flannery, Robert and Sally Fitzgerald have given us a glimpse into the vision of her faith, style and life as a writer.   A lifelong Catholic, Flannery O’Connor sought to wed together the moral integrity of her faith with the character of her craft in writing.  Specifically, fiction for her was an exploration in imitation.
In a rather illuminating statement in the chapter entitled, “A Catholic Novelist in the Protestant South, “ O’Connor writes,
“I am specifically concerned with fiction because that is what I write.  There is a certain em…