A few years ago, my sister gave me a book called The Shack, and told me that I had to read it. It was about a man, Mack, who experienced such tragedy in his life that completely devastated him and caused him to hate God. However, with God that is never the ending. God truly uses every circumstance in our lives to draw us closer to Him. God used this event to bring Mack back into a loving relationship with Himself.
What I didn’t realize back then, was that this book was a lot like the story of my life.
Having gone through a traumatic event in my childhood, I blamed God for leaving me in my time of need. What I couldn’t see was that God had been there even in the most difficult moment of my life. That He never left me. Instead He endured that pain with me. And everyday, when I tried to push Him out, He walked by me, waiting for me to come back to Him. As I look back on the struggles in my life, I see how God played a hand in all of it. I see the moments where God slowly brought me back to Him.
For those of you who never had the opportunity to read The Shack, I highly recommend it. But more so, I recommend that you go see it in the theater. It is a beautiful depiction of God wanting to be a part of our lives, and how much He desires for us to love Him in return.
The movie also does beautiful explanation as to why there is so much suffering in the world. So often, we hear people say, “Well if God was so good, He wouldn’t let war happen.” Or “He wouldn’t have let her/him be killed”. God can’t take away the free will of any person. It is our free will and the choices we make that cause so much suffering in this world. Once we align our sights with God, we can truly begin to see how much beauty there is in the world, even in suffering.
In the movie, there is a line that greatly touched my heart. “When we can’t see past our pain, we can’t see God.” If all we see is how much we have suffered, we wont ever be able to see that God is there with us. We won’t be able to see how Christ brings us out of it. We won’t be able to see the healing and the love that God has showered down upon us.
As I watched the movie, I started reflecting back on the events of my own life. And I saw how much time God had taken to mend my broken heart and to make me whole again. I saw the journey that He took me on, to help me to fall in love with Him. It wasn’t a weekend spent with God like Mack but it was a slow process to forgive and to love. There is joy in suffering, because we never have to go through it alone.
God desires to love you, because He is especially fond of you.
Side note: This is not a review of the theological aspects to the movie. But more so on the relationship that God desires for us to have with Him.
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