Where is God when it hurts? That question formed the title of my first real book, more than 30 years ago. In 2012 I was asked to speak on this topic in three places of great suffering: in Japan, for the one-year anniversary of the tsunami that killed 20,000; in Sarajevo, which endured the longest siege in modern warfare; and in Newtown, Connecticut, a town in sorrow after a gunman killed 20 school children at Sandy Hook.
What I learned in these places gave me much new insight on what hope and comfort faith offers to all of us who go through hard times, in tragedies large and small.
Yancey, a CT editor at large, has been reflecting on human suffering ever since his classic Where Is God When It Hurts?. In The Question That Never Goes Away, published earlier as an eBook, he returns to the subject, writing in the shadow of 12 months that brought such horrific events as the Newtown shootings, the Boston Marathon bombings, and the explosion of a fertilizer plant in small-town Texas. Yancey moves seamlessly from newspaper headlines to private letters, from major tragedies to mundane hurts, to offer a spiritual framework for the “pain [that] plays as a kind of background static to many lives.”
Christianity Today, New and Noteworthy Books Section
“In his classic book Where Is God When It Hurts, Philip Yancey gave readers permission to doubt, reasons not to abandon faith, and practical ways to reach out to hurting people. And now, thirty years after writing his first book, Yancey revisits the cry of “Why, God” in three places stunned into silence by the calamities that have devastated them. At some point all of us will face the challenges to faith Yancey writes about and look for the comfort and hope he describes.
There are reasons to ask, once again, the question that never goes away: Where is God when we suffer? And Yancey, once again, leads us to find faith when it is most severely put to the test.”