The problem of pain

Tish Harrison Warren’s new book, Prayer in the Night is out and you should absolutely get this book. As I think through spiritual rhythms for the last parts of my “Living in Babylon” series on my podcast, her book fits in wonderfully with the need for patterns in our lives.

We have serious questions and serious pain and we want to know why. She shares a powerful story of loss for her and her husband that brought them to despair, but what held them through the darkness was the prayers of the church. It didn’t take away all the questions, but it gave her a sense of the presence of God and the that presence guided her through the darkest valleys.

Just a small snippet from this outstanding book:

“My deepest question, Where is God in all this?, is an ache that I hope to endure until my longing meets its end. I want justice, I want resurrection; I want wholeness, wellness, and restoration. And I won’t be fully satisfied until God — before whose face our questions die away — sets every last thing right.

But we’re not there yet. We live in the meantime.”

The deep question for us is how do we live in this meantime? How do we trust? WHO do we trust? How do we live through the disappointment that God just may lest us twist in the wind on an issue?

“Christianity does not give us a concise explanation for vulnerability, loss, or pain, but it gives us a story — a real story in history.”

Here is the thing: we’re vulnerable and we want that vulnerability taken away and in its place we want solid answers. If there is a God, we want protection. Yet, the deepest belief in God by the godliest saints who have walked this earth have not had those guarantees. Instead, we have story.

And this powerful truth:

“Mysteriously, God does not take away our vulnerability. He enters into it.”

Get. This. Book.

Prayer in the Night

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