Monday, May 2, 2016

Finding God in the Hard Times: Choosing to Trust and Hope When You Can't See the Way by Matt and Beth Redman

When I was in high school the new "in" song was Blessed be your name. 

It was for good reason.

Because now, over a decade later, and with a lot more education (specifically focusing in areas such as counselling, crisis, and music - my course selection was hilarious) I can see the lack of venues for expression during times of trial that still exist in the church. I remember walking into counselling classes where large percentages of the class had never heard of lament - let alone understood its purpose and I've yet to see percentages for those outside of higher education.

Blessed be your name was unique for its time as a modern worship song that acknowledged the time of pain, suffering, and messy unclear situations without answers while still being fully worship.

Honestly, I still love that song.

One other thing I learned in college was that it is infinitely easier to run on for pages than to confine oneself to a small word count when the topic is important. Given my love of Matt Redman's lyrics I was curious to see how he would address the same themes evident in the popular song when given the space to roam free.

Finding God in Hard Times is the book I wish had been assigned while I was a counselling student. This is not a deep theological debate, it's not a how to/ 10 step/ here's your answers book either. It is a beautiful journey though -either self-contained or as the start of deeper study.

I loved the simplicity of Matt and Beth's text. Heavily reliant on both scripture and personal touches Finding God stood out to me in its refusal to deny God's unchanging faithfulness through trial while being equally unwilling to oversimplify and brush off the reality, painfulness, and tension of living in a broken world.

This is that rare book I would actually feel comfortable giving to a friend going through a rough patch or recommending for a small group (not just because of the handy guide provided by Matt and Beth at the end); Matt and Beth's writing is comfortable sitting with pain, sitting with confusion, and yet constantly, gently pointing readers back to God.

5 out of 5 stars

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc."