“Singing God’s praises for the gifts that we’ve been given, that’s what we do.”
“Even when we don’t feel like it?”
“Especially when we don’t feel like it.”
Praising and trusting God in difficult circumstances is exactly what the characters in God Bless the Broken Road learn to do.
When Amber Hill finds out that her husband Darren, a soldier, was killed in combat, she’s shocked. Her world is turned upside-down and her faith is tested in ways she could’ve never imagined.
Her house feels empty, she can’t find a reason to sing, and relating to God is a challenge. How can she possibly move past the intense grief of losing the love of her life?
“I tried putting my faith in God,” Amber tells her friends. “Look where it got me. I’m not ready to trust Him with our lives again. If He wants me, He knows where to find me.”
Amber can’t even find the strength to step inside a church, viewers quickly learn. She brings her precocious and lovable daughter, Bree, to church every Sunday, but she herself goes to work, trying to make ends meet. It’s an intense challenge for a widowed single mother.
Meanwhile, Cody Jackson, a racecar driver, finds himself volunteered for duty as a youth leader in the church. He’s flustered—he came to town to hone his driving technique, but his new coach has other plans, and setting up a go-cart club for the church’s youth is at the top of the list.
Amber, Cody, and a host of other characters struggle with the gaps between their expectations and the reality they’re facing. They’re not sure how to cope with the loss of family, love, security, and their own dreams.
“What happens when the plans you had for your life don’t pan out?” asks Amber’s pastor during a sermon one Sunday. “Some people blame God. They give up on God.”
“Do you see the empty seats around you? Those are missing brothers and sisters,” the pastor continues. “Love calls us to bring them home. They need to know that God is not done with them, that He has not abandoned them.”
Amber indeed feels that God has abandoned her and Bree. She resists the efforts of friends and family to help her and bring her closer to God, trying to fix the situation on her own instead.
But all that starts to change when God brings Amber and Cody into each other’s lives.
Cody wants to succeed in the racing industry. Driving is his identity and his passion, and he hates failing. But his focus shifts from racing to romance when he meets Amber, and the two begin a journey of faith together.
As Amber and Cody get to know each other, they discuss faith, blessings, and the meaning of life. They learn that there’s a time for everything, whether it’s grief, victory, slowing down, or moving on.
And through the peculiar circumstances of preparing for a NASCAR race, Amber, Cody, Bree, and the rest of a diverse cast of characters learn what faith looks like in everyday life, whether times are hard or beautiful.
The movie’s plot centers on Matthew 17:20: “Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”
What’s impossible for humans to conceive of—healing, victory, and love—is never impossible for God. Amber and Cody learn that even the tiniest amount of faith in God is worthwhile and will bear more fruit than they could ever imagine.
While the storytelling and acting in God Bless the Broken Road is somewhat clumsy, the film offers some fun and dramatic moments and relays an important message: “Whether you believe it or not, God’s got you in the palm of His hand.”
Viewers will relate to Amber’s struggles as a single mother, Cody’s dreams of success, and Bree’s whimsical determination to grow a mustard seed in a brightly painted flowerpot.
God Bless the Broken Road is appropriate for all ages, though parents may want to supervise young children due to the drama of a few moments.