Book Blurb (Summary): This book is actually about Mackenzie Allen Philips (the main character), whose six years old daughter, Missy, was kidnapped during a family vacation and evidence that she was brutally murdered by a serial killer was found in an abandoned shack deep in the Oregon wilderness. Four years later in the midst of his Great Sadness, Mack receives a suspicious note, apparently from God, inviting him back to that shack for a weekend. Against his better judgment he arrives at the shack on a wintry afternoon and walks back into his darkest nightmare. What he finds there will change Mack’s world forever.
“The Shack” is a book that is in one word: CONTROVERSIAL. People who have read it or watched the movie have so many different opinions of it. Some say it helps them understand the God(the Trinity) more, others say they understand why God did not stop some bad things from happening to them more, still others say it is blasphemous and against Biblical scripture/theology.
I won’t pretend to be 100% sure if any of these opinions are right or wrong, good or bad. But I DO know what this book opened up to me. The lessons I got from it. Rather than giving my usual review, I’ve decided to share some lessons I picked from it with you.
So here are the 3 lessons I learnt from Mack’s conversations with God. I hope and believe these will help you somehow…. as they have helped me:
1–GOD HAS NO FAVORITES—PERIOD!.
God’s favorite girl/boy….. I’ve heard people refer to themselves like that before and I wonder where they got the notion. It is better to refer to yourself as “God’s beloved” than as His Favorite. Because He does not have a fave dear!.
Many Christians and non-Christians alike (including me) have found themselves feeling like God has selected a person or persons as His favorites. When all you see (emphasis on ALL YOU SEE), is how perfect someone’s life seems to be going as opposed to your own supposedly messy life, it can seem like they’re God’s fave and you’re not. But THAT is false!. See Romans 2:11.
God loves everyone EQUALLY. There is nothing you could do to make Him love you more or less. Let’s keep that in mind for the next time we feel God loves someone else more.
2–STOP TRYING SO HARD TO LIVE LIKE CHRIST AND LET HIM LIVE THROUGH YOU.
I know, I know. There are Bible verses about imitating Christ (eg: Ephesians 5:1). But we so often take this to mean we should be trying to be perfectly good like Christ was, on our own!. And who among us can do that?. (No hands?!. Lol just kidding a bit…. but this is serious….). Some may say living like Christ and letting Him live through you mean the same thing but I believe there’s a significant difference. We, in all our human imperfections, cannot even begin to UNDERSTAND what living like Christ means, talk more of ACTING it out.
Also, how can you live like a Person you don’t really know/understand/trust?.
But letting Christ live through you?. Well that throws off any lingering feeling that we can imitate Christ, be perfectly good on our own. And it opens the door to a deeper relationship than trying to imitate Him ever could. Because to let Him come alive and live through you, you’ll have to start by knowing Him, your knowledge grows your trust in Him, your trust makes it easier to surrender/submit to Him/His will, then Jesus gives you the power to be ONE with Him.
And if those aren’t fruits of a true relationship with Christ, I don’t know what is!. I once heard an interesting sentence from someone that said: “I can’t. He can. I will let Him”. That about sums it up!. Note: Letting Christ live through you is a process. To know Him is to love Him. Start by getting to know Him—through reading the Bible!.
3-GOD IS WITH YOU—EVEN WHEN YOU DO NOT FEEL SO.
Sometimes life hits you hard and all you can see is your pain, you may lose sight of God and start “feeling“ like you’re alone. I know, I’ve experienced that.
It happens to the “best” of us.
There is so much pain in the world. So much evil. Why does God seem to do nothing about it?. Firstly, to answer that question, I believe God has already done EVERYTHING to save us from the pain/evil in the world through the sacrifice Jesus made. PERIOD!.
But I also know firsthand that sometimes when you’re in the thick of it, smack-dab in the middle of the pain/evil, you can’t quite see your way straight to the cross.
But the truth is, He is ALWAYS right there with you in the midst of all the pain and craziness life can throw at you. And when life gives you lemons, you can TRUST God to make lemonades, if you can surrender the lemons to Him!. God says it Himself in Matthew 28:20: “I am with you always, even to the end of the age”.
Extra: GOD IS GOOD—ALL THE TIME.
This should be self-explanatory. It is a popular phrase in the Church. We say it all the time. But we have to BELIEVE it and that belief comes from truly knowing and trusting God.
Jesus Himself said it in Mark 10:18: No one is good— except God alone.
A lot of our fears and struggles as Christians would fade away if we truly believe that God is good and so are His plans for us. No matter what happens!.
And that’s a wrap!. I hope and believe this helped you. Please share your thoughts in the comment section and SHARE this post with others!. Someone you know may need to see it!.
Sending you love as you do ❤️💐
Also if you have read “THE SHACK” or seen the movie adaptation of it, What were your thoughts?. Did you enjoy it? If you haven’t read it does this ‘tale of the book’ make you want to?.
Join the TOTB email community to get notified about new blog posts. Stay updated on exciting book recommendations/reviews!.