Author: Ed Underwood
Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.
ISBN: 978-1-4143-9112-0

God doesn’t need your strength to guide you, but you do need to trust his strength to recognize his guidance” is one of the principals Sam instructs in Ed Underwood’s book, The Trail: A Tale about Discovering God’s Will.

At one hundred and eighty-five pages, this paperback targets Christians looking for God’s will in their lives. With one minor slang word and no violence, the topic of emotional infidelity within a marriage may not be appropriate for immature readers. The New Living Translation of the Bible is used and fourteen group discussions are included. This reader wishes all pronouns of God were capitalized for reverence.

Instead of sermon format, Pastor Underwood offers readers a tome of grace, forgiveness, and redemption. Young Matt and Brenda are supposedly happy Christians who have a life-changing decision to make. When it is suggested they go on a camping trip with an unusual old fireman / preacher, their sole purpose is to uncover God’s will in their lives.

When the couple arrive at California’s Sequoia National Park, the beauty surrounds them yet their inner peace is challenged when Sam, surly and sometimes preachy, questions their true feelings toward God and one another. Always wanting to control the situation with a logical answer, Matt shuts down Sam’s demands as Brenda seeks a spiritual sign.

Reminding the two to focus on Christ, Sam discusses trust, relationship, intimacy, timing, protection, encouragement, community, and grace while the three hike through the Golden Trout Wilderness and the Casa Vieja Meadow.

As emotional and physical harm encroaches, the trio must hunker down and protect themselves and each other by also spiritually understanding God’s direction in their lives. Facing their trials, failures, and disappointments, the trail to knowing God unfolds.

Blending ample amounts of Bible verses and Biblical characters, the quick read may be misconstrued as a simple, eight-step instant fix of how a couple learned the will of God, using His beautiful creation as a backdrop. However, if the concepts were carefully dissected over an eight-week study, concentrating on being “all-in” with a personal relationship with Christ, one will be confident claiming the verse in Proverbs: “In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct thy paths.” KJV.

Thanks to Tyndale House Publishers for furnishing this book in exchange of a review based on the reader’s honest opinion.

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