God's Unexpected Pathway to Joy
Review posted March 22, 2009.
Waterbrook Press, 2001. 218 pages.
Using the Biblical story of Naomi, in Shattered Dreams, Larry Crabb talks about how sometimes God's best for us comes through the destruction of all our hopes. Sometimes our deepest, truest dream can only happen when our superficial dreams are shattered.
He explains it this way:
The highest dream we could ever dream, the wish that if granted would make us happier than any other blessing, is to know God, to actually experience Him. The problem is that we don’t believe this idea is true. We assent to it in our heads. But we don’t feel it in our hearts.
We can’t stop wanting to be happy. And that urge should prompt no apology. We were created for happiness. Our souls therefore long for whatever we think will provide the greatest possible pleasure. We just aren’t yet aware that an intimate relationship with God is that greatest pleasure.
Sometimes, when our dreams shatter, and we feel pain, and God doesn't make the pain go away:
It’s there that we discover our desire for God. We begin to feel a desire to know Him that not only survives all our pain, but actually thrives in it until that desire becomes more intense than our desire for all the good things we still want. Through the pain of shattered lower dreams, we wake up to the realization that we want an encounter with God more than we want the blessings of life. And that begins a revolution in our lives.
I thought of this book as an excellent reminder. I didn't feel like the author was saying anything brand new, but it was good to hear someone giving voice to the truth that God can work through our pain. Through difficult times, we can learn to desire God -- and find Him -- as at no other time in our lives.