Finding God in the Ruins: How God Redeems Pain is the first book by Matt Bays. Matt Bays is a writer, speaker, and a musician “with a passion for calling people out of their hiding places.” Pastor Bays believes suffering and doubt are necessary components- even the very essence- of faith. We can increase our understanding of who God is by allowing ourselves to ask the difficult questions. Unexpressed doubt can be toxic. Therefore, Matt states, “redemption is not an escape but rather a journey. . . . redemption will always be most powerful when we can trace God’s hand along the way.”
Discipline is a critical prerequisite to our journey inward. Fear, however, keeps us from committing to true and lasting change. As we courageously ask God “Where were you?” we find an honest place with God. Getting all of God is equally delicious and painful. When we are in an honest place with God, the sharp edges of our pain begin to soften. Receptiveness to God’s comfort means being open to that comfort when we least expect it. Specifically, God often is found mixed into what many consider life’s greatest disappointments. Pastor Bays observes: “God’s core value is at its absolute highest when we are at our absolute lowest.”
Is God calling you to and for something that He needs you to make right in the world? If so, don’t be too eager to punctuate your pain with an exclamation point before the time is right. While your pain may remain, God also will remain. You will find God’s grace beautifully on display in your storytold. Acknowledging the truth of who you are actually can set you free. While you can rewrite your story and definitely change the ending, you can’t rewrite the beginning or change the author.
Telling our stories is how we authenticate who we are and is our healing gift to others. We will find God in the ruins once we understand we are worthy of love and understanding. More than answers to our questions, we need the love of God. Bathed in God’s love, we can accept the burden of responsibility to share our stories so someone else can be set free. Matt concludes:
“Each of us has a calling that comes from the core ache within us- a calling to write with our lives the beautiful stories of God’s redemption.”