12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: Leaving Egypt: Finding God in the Wilderness Places (Paperback)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Program (What's this?)Even though I'd never heard of this author before, the title and description of this book got my attention. I have logged a lot of time in a wilderness. There have many times over the course of my life where I've wondered "God where are you in the midst of this? Do you see? Do you even care?" But I also know something else. It's true that it's during the painful, difficult times in our lives that we grow the most. I know this to be true because I have experienced it time and time again. My times of greatest spiritual growth coinside with my times of greatest pain and doubt.
This book builds on the premise that we are all slaves to something. We don't have a choice in the matter. We are all living in some form of slavery. We are all in bondage to something. Contrary to what some Christian authors/pastors seem to believe, becoming a Christian doesn't mean all our bondage, pain, and hang-ups instantly disappear once a person become a Christian. Instead, becoming a Christian is just the first step on the journey towards freedom. The author points out that we in the West are woefully unprepared to deal with suffering. When suffering strikes, we authomatically think that we are being punished by God or that we have done something wrong. In some cases, our suffering may be the result of our own lack of judgement and poor choices. I'm not denying that. But the Bible makes it crystal clear. If a person chooses to live a godly life, they will be persecuted. It's not a matter of if it will occur, but what form it will take. That means, that it is possible that suffering can come from doing everything right! The author also makes the point that the church, by and large, doesn't know how to minister to people who are suffering. Often, there is a unspoken message of "You're too broken and messy right now. Get help and then you can be part of the church." I have been part of churches where that message comes through loud and clear. But that is NOT how Jesus responded to people in pain or who were grieving. He didn't push them away. He embraced them and suffered with them. Then he restored them.
It can be easy to read book of the Bible like Exodus and think "That story took place so long ago! What can it possibly have to offer me today?" But the teaches that all of it was written for our instruction, not just the New Testament. There are lessons the Old Testament can teach us too. It may not be as obvious at first, but if you look, the lessons are definitely there. The truth of the matter is this: The story of the Israelites in the wilderness is not just about them. It is really about all of us. Many times we are just as distrustful, rebellious, and whiny towards God as they are. At least I know I am. But this story also illustrates that God's love will relentlessly pursue us and will not give up on us. Ever. No matter how far and fast we run. If you are going through a difficult time and are having trouble seeing God in the midst of your pain and difficult circumstances, then get this book. It will be like a cool drink for your soul.
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Initial post: Jun 28, 2012 12:14:02 PM PDT
This thoughtful, thought provoking and well written review convinced me that I did the right thing to get this book. Thank you so much!
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