God, in real life

By Dave Henning / April 3, 2016

“God, in real life, is nothing like the God we’ve been taught about in church.”- Matt Bays

Matt Bays rivets your attention and at the same time sets the tone for Finding God in the Ruins: How God Redeems Pain with the opening sentence of his preface: “God, in real life, is nothing like the God we’ve been taught about in church.”  Or, as Jeff Manion (The Land Between) wrote in reference to the Israelites wandering in the wilderness: “They had known about God’s faithfulness in theory, but now they would be called upon to know through experience.”

Matt observes that anyone who has experienced pain or devastating loss knows that in the immediate moments- as well as the terrible aftermath- of that horrific experience “hell often feels more powerful than heaven.”  Pastor Bays explains how suffering and doubt are necessary components of faith:

“What if our sufferings and doubt are necessary components- or even the very essence of faith?  [I] was told to be careful, that my questions could drive me away from my faith altogether.  Doubt is a part of life, and our faith can be strengthened when we increase our understanding of who God really is by allowing ourselves to ask the difficult questions.”

Matt has written Finding God in the Ruins so that he can come alongside you in your troubles.  He ends his preface with this encouragement:

“Together, I want to see if we might find God sitting in the ruins of our lives, shaking his head, same as us, over all that has happened.”

Today’s question: Following your ministry downsizing or vocation loss, how has experiencing “God, in real life” strengthened your faith?  Please share.

Coming Monday: the new Short Meditation, “Every falling tear”

Tomorrow’s blog: “Simply being present”

About the author

Dave Henning

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