Matt Bays had a very difficult childhood, suffering abuse by his own family members. When, as an adult, he suddenly finds himself unable to cope with life, he turns to substances to dull the pain. But as a church pastor, he knows this can’t go on, and finally finds a competent therapist to help him deal with his past.
As Bays works through the painful memories, he relives the feeling of being abandoned by God, the very One he expected to protect him from the abuse. His feelings lead him to search the scriptures for others who also felt abandoned, and he finds solace in some of David’s psalms. But first he needs to come to terms with his own expectations of God, trying to determine if God might have actually been with him throughout his troubled childhood.
Reading in many ways more like a journal than a spiritual self-help book, Finding God in the Ruins offers hope to others who have suffered from traumatic experiences. At times Bays expresses his anger with God, reminding us that God can handle our anger better than we think He can. But ultimately, he reinforces the truth that God is always with us, even when we go through trying times. We may never know why we suffer, but God never leaves us alone, and that’s good news we can all relate to.
Reviewer: Alice Berger