I have been a fan of the Cloud – Townsend duo for some time, as they are highly respected Christian psychiatrists. As soon as I saw Where Is God? by Dr. John Townsend, I jumped on it. The concept of addressing answers to people’s struggle to find out where God is in their struggle fits well with my heart for people, which you can tell from previous posts on How Can We Thank God for Difficult Events and How Can God Make Good Out of This?.
So many people are walking around with baggage about past events that hinders them from seeing that God cares for them personally. This book was written to address these questions and to try and offer hope – hope that God’s love for will move Him to act on your behalf. Townsend’s ideas are formed by three organizing principles:
- God is for you
- Your experience matters
- The Bible is our source for understanding God’s ways in hard times
Overall, I think the book does a good job offering hope, but I particularly feel that chapters 5 & 7 provide the greatest impact. Chapter 5 lists out ways that people view God – ways He is not really like. I prayerfully looked at this chapter to see if there were any misconceptions that I needed to confess myself. Chapter 7 looks at where is God during my pain. This is something that I feel most people asking the “Where is God?” question are struggling. If God is always present, always good, and all powerful, where was He when I needed Him? Chapter 7 addresses this.
Finally, I enjoyed how Townsend stresses being connected to others. We are not meant to go it alone. We need the body of Christ, and when we face hardships, this is no less true. This book will be helpful for those struggling, but probably even more for those coming alongside those who are in hardships.