In this beautiful and virus-broken world, God is here. And as the title of this lustrous book reminds us, All Shall Be Well. There are no pat answers inside this book of seasons, written before we had any inkling of the present season of suffering, limbo, strangeness, and hope. As Catherine McNiel takes us on a tour of the four seasons, she shows us that God is just as present in the murky swamps of life as he is in the sunny mountain top vistas. He has just as much to teach us in a frozen puddle as he does in a field of fluttering red tulips, if only we open our eyes. McNiel is our guide in this, a bookish spiritual director and companion who gently leads, saying, “Look at that frost, that tree bud, that Dandelion bravely growing in the cracked cement. God is there.” We can gain a deeper sense of enjoying his goodness as we start to notice him all around us.
Not only do we become more observant of God’s mysterious presence with us in all the mundane moments of life, but we begin to notice—and cling to—his redemptive work in making all things new. In the dismal, overcast chill of November, we can remember that death leads to new life in the spring. He is at work, even if we can’t see. And that remembrance gives us hope and courage.
This book is an invitation to rest, trust, and even grow, in the hard seasons as much or more than the easy ones. Perfect for the gardener or the nature lover, who pines to be outside in God’s creation, this lyrical work reminds us that our creator is nearer than we think. It is a beautiful invitation to relax and trust in God’s goodness and renewal of all things. McNiel’s title, taken from a prayer by Julian Norwich, promises that “All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.” We’ve never needed that promise more. (NavPress)