Shack Reflections

I am back in SC after a nice week with family: six days with parents, grandparents, brothers and sister-in-loves, nieces, nephews, cousins, aunts and uncles as well as seeing old friends and visiting my home church and hitting the beach for some sun and surf made for a great vacation! I love a good road trip and traveling but what makes a good trip great is coming home! I missed my bed - I slept in three different beds in six nights, caught a nasty sinus cold and two pairs of shoes got left behind (to be returned in my brothers return trip!) AND ate way too many calories - but hey, that is all part of going on vacation, right!? So... hitting the health diet today! (Just finished off a yummy cucumber/tomato/feta cheese salad... believe it or not, that was my breakfast!)

Somewhere in the past six days, I thought about The Shack. I came up with three significant points: Relationship, Trust, and Goodness.

Relationship: I know many had issues with the presentation of "God, the Father" as a woman. I would encourage you not to get stuck there: if you read the story through you will see "Elousia" became "Papa" to Mack; the principle I found was that God met him in a way that was not expected, true to His nature, to overcome lies, resentment, and a wounded heart/mind in Mack - so that He could experience a real, living, good relationship with God - "Papa." God, in the form of Christ, reconciled Himself to man so that we could have a relationship with HIm. This is what was broken in the garden with sin; this is what Christ came to repair! Amazingly, in the New Testament, the people did not recognize Jesus as being the Messiah; "He who has ears to hear..." I don't think it is so much about this story presenting God as "woman" but more about us grasping God and living in relationship with Him, living in Truth. Ah-hem... that is my opinion anyhow. I want God to root out the lies, resentment and wounds in me too... His ways are not my ways, His thoughts are higher than mine... THANK YOU, Jesus!!

Trust: this is why "Elousia" was a woman, so Mack's defenses would come down. God knew Mack had trust issues, and these stemmed from the damage done through his earthly father. "Elousia" dealt with the root of these issues so that trust could be built, false beliefs and impressions destroyed and Truth could be embraced. "Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean NOT on your own understanding...." is ringing in my ears.

Goodness: Relationship won't happen until trust is built, trust will not happen unless we believe God is good. I think this originates to the garden as well. If the enemy of our souls can tempt us to doubt God's goodness, wisdom, nature, love... plan; he has us. We begin to walk away from God, the source of our Life, and live independently of Him - which is death. This very principle is one God has been teaching me - through many avenues: HE IS GOOD. I love the line when Mack declares, "I do trust you." I felt at that point in the book, I could say that too - wholeheartedly. That is a wonderful spacious place to live, walk, dance and breath! "Is He safe? Oh no, but He is good." From The Lion, Witch and the Wardrobe.

These are the basic things I gleaned from the book. Any thoughts from you? I would love to hear them.

Also, I would encourage you to listen to "The Story behind the story" by Paul Young - his testimony of how The Shack came about - go to Mariner's Church website and do a search for Paul Young's testimony - the date is 7/1/2008 (I think?) and it is the podcast which is 1:13 minutes long.

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