Any book that stimulates a person's perspective in a positive way on God is good.This can be considered fertilizer for growth.Inspiration to ask more questions in order to seek the truth that sets you free.God bless your heart as He scrapes the scales and lights the pathway to His Glory.
One of my favorite movies is "Bruce Almighty" starring Jim Carrey. At the beginning of the movie Bruce (Carrey) experiences a series of setbacks. He gets increasingly frustrated and expresses his anger towards God. He says "God is a mean kid with a magnifying glass and I'm the ant. He could fix my life in 5 minutes if he wanted to, but he'd rather burn off my feelers and watch me squirm" A short time later he says (again talking to God) "You're the one who should be fired! The only person around here not doing their job is You!" I have always found these scenes compelling because I admit, on a fairly regular basis, I have similiar thoughts about God.
When I saw this book at Half Price Books, I was immediately drawn to the title. I knew I had to get it. Jim Pace is a pastor in Blacksburg Virgina, who has had to deal with the aftermath of the tragedy that took place at Virginia Tech. Not only in his own life, but in the lives of his congregation. He has struggled with hard questions like "Where was God on that horrible day?" "Why doesn't God protect His people from hardship and suffering?" "Does God care about our suffering?" He has wrestled with these types of questions in his own life and in the lives of others with similar questions.
One thing that really annoys me about Christian books is the way many of them deal with the topic of suffering. Often, the only advice given is in the form of pat answers, quick fix solutions, cliches or just spouting a bunch of Bible verses. Now, I absolutely affirm the truth of Scripture. I believe it is God breathed and the inerrant Word of God. But to quote a verse like "God works all things together for the good of those who love Him" to a person who is suffering greatly, struggling with doubt, and questioning God's love and goodness, like giving a band-aid to someone with cancer. It won't treat the underlying problem. Cliches like "God loves you, has a plan for your life, and is in control" aren't helpful either. I don't doubt for a second that the teachers and authors who say these kinds of things have nothing but the best of intentions. They truly want to help. A lot of Christian books also seem to think that suffering, questioning and doubt should have no part in the Christian life. They imply that a good Christian would never struggle with issues like these. But Jesus made it crystal clear that the Christian life is going to involve persecution and suffering.
This book is very different. Jim Pace is willing to confront these difficult issues and questions head-on. He uses examples from his own life and from the pages of Scripture. If you are looking for a book that provides quick fixes and easy answers, this isn't it. But that is what makes this book so refreshing and honest. This book helped me see my questions, God, and suffering a completely different way. It made me think about these things in a way I never had before. This is a book that I will turn to again and again. It gave me a much needed new perspective. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is struggling with feelings of anger and resentment towards God because of sufferering or who has wondered if God is falling down on the job.
Some other books that I've found helpful are "Finding the Invisible God" and "Disappointment with God" both by Phillip Yancey. Another great resource is "God in the Dark" by Os Guiness