Review: The Gift of One Day

Kathy Hillman reviews "The Gift of One Day" by Kerry and Chris Shook.

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The Gift of One Day: How to Find Hope When Life Gets Hard

By Kerry and Chris Shook (WaterBrook)

Every person, every family and every church will face a time when life becomes almost too hard to bear. Kerry and Chris Shook, co-founders of Woodlands Church near Houston, share their family’s difficult journey in The Gift of One Day: How to Find Hope When Life Gets Hard. In the introduction, the couple wisely reveal the outcome of the story. Knowing what will happen makes the ending less sad, but that knowledge doesn’t lessen the tears or the lessons garnered.

The first child born to the Shooks’ middle son and daughter-in-law lived just one day: “One sunset. One sunrise.” Kelli and Josh Shook announced their pregnancy with great anticipation. At 20 weeks, ultrasound revealed kidneys that could not function apart from his mother without a medical near-miracle. The couple named their son Jude Samuel, meaning: “Praise! The Lord has heard.”

With faith and eyes on God’s goodness, the grandparents impart 14 lessons their family learned. Among them: hard isn’t the opposite of good; when nothing makes sense, just obey; everyone needs help, including you; and the number of your days is unrelated to the impact of your life. Jude’s impact continues in his Christmas stocking filled with gifts for others, in the witness of his parents to those who have also lost a child, and in the knowledge that God does not waste tears.

The Gift of One Day closes with the birth of Jude’s little sister Mary Love—love because of God’s promise in the second verse of Jude from The Message: “…open your hearts, love is on the way!” That’s God’s message and the message of the book.

Kathy Robinson Hillman, former president

Baptist General Convention of Texas


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