Caryn Rivadeneira – Broke [Feature Review]

May 9, 2014


[easyazon_image add_to_cart=”default” align=”left” asin=”0830843116″ cloaking=”default” height=”160″ localization=”default” locale=”US” nofollow=”default” new_window=”default” src=”” tag=”douloschristo-20″ width=”107″]Page 2: Caryn Rivadeneira – Broke

Rivadeneira’s book offers a proposal, an answer, to these questions, but it’s painful answer. Sometimes we go broke because it’s in this very place we learn about God best. “In this season of spiritual and financial brokenness,” Rivadeneira writes, “in this time of longing to know what God was up to and to experience his goodness and presence, God worked me over by showing me where and how I could find him.” Financial desperation and hourly dependence upon the provision of God forces us put feet to our faith and what it is we really believe about the character of God. Does he hear me? Is he really dependable? How can I trust him when his ways are so mysterious? Is he really good? Is he even really there? In Broke, Rivadeneira grapples with these deep and difficult questions, reflecting upon them with the ease and simplicity of one who has labored long to understand them. She manages to do it, too, with both self-deprecation and humor.

Broke isn’t a book that will get you un-broke. It’s not a bag of tricks to help you setback on the fiscal track. You won’t find tips for praying the Jabez prayer in just the right position to receive bucket loads of cash. Rivadeneira doesn’t tell you “it’s God’s will for you to live in prosperity instead of poverty.” She doesn’t tell you that God is about to bless you with a $1.7 million dollar home. If you’re looking for that, you’re in for a disappointment. But what Rivadeneira offers up in Broke is far more valuable: how suffering, borne well, transforms us, shapes us, into people who understand and know God in greater ways than we can ever have anticipated. In one perspicacious analogy, Rivadeneira likens the experience of going broke and crying out to God to letting her oldest, toddler boy finally “cry it out.” A world-renowned pediatrician told her there was a difference between “making a child cry” and “letting a child cry.” Our children will cry for many reasons in their life, and sometimes there are good reasons for letting them cry. In her son’s case, allowing his tears gave him the chance to learn to sleep well. Just so, God doesn’t cause seasons of financial desperation, but he allows them, for good reason: to know him better. “But let him who boasts boast in this,” Jeremiah 9:24 proclaims, “that he understands and knows me, that I am the LORD who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight, declares the LORD.”