Sunday, January 24, 2010

Where is God?

As a counselor I talk to people almost daily about the difficult circumstances of their lives. Divorces, affairs, children who disappoint, relationship difficulties, job stress, betrayal, and many other issues. Almost every individual going through a hard time asks the same question, “Where is God in the midst of my circumstances?” Even the people who don’t necessarily believe in God rail against the injustices in the world. They use their anger as proof that God must not exist. After all, if there was a God…how could he allow the innocent to suffer?

In his book, Where is God?, Dr. John Townsend attempts to point his readers to a God who, although not always seen or understood, is with us. Townsend asserts that God is working behind the scenes, acting on our behalf, and suffering with us when we hurt.

I recently had a client who was dealing with childhood sexual abuse. She made the statement that if everything she learned about God in church was true, then God knew she was being abused, stood there and watched it, and did nothing. She struggled to make sense of a God who could stand by and watch a child being abused. As she worked through her anger she pictured herself standing in front of God beating on His chest screaming “How could you let that happen?” And in her picture, God put His arms around her, and said “I was there, and my heart broke. If I had stopped it, I would have had to take away your abuser’s freedom. I won’t make anyone into a robot. Not your abuser, and not you, but I promise to bring good out of your pain.”

That is the kind of God that Townsend portrays in this book, a God who suffers with us when we suffer and a God who wants our love for Him to be real in spite of our circumstances.

Although I personally did not learn anything new by reading this book, I feel that it is a book that I can recommend to clients. Townsend has a solid grasp of not only the psychological principals of suffering, but also gives Biblical support for his views.

Townsend concludes this book by assuring his readers that God loves them, wants what is best for them, and is actively involved in their lives…a reason to have hope.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Friday, January 8, 2010

Fun Friday

In My Next Life

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year!

We spend January 1 walking through our lives, room by room, drawing up a list of work to be done, cracks to be patched. Maybe this year, to balance the list, we ought to walk through the rooms of our lives... not looking for flaws, but for potential. ~Ellen Goodman