The Question That Never Goes Away is the recently published sequel to Philip Yancey’s popular best seller, Where Is God When It Hurts? (1977). Half the size of the original, it explores the questions often asked when people experience intense suffering: “Where is God and why did this happen?” Yancey focuses on three real life scenarios: the tsunami in Japan, civil war in Sarajevo, and the school shooting in Newtown. He traveled throughout these regions to witness firsthand the spiritual impact of enormous loss and minister to people seeking God in the midst of their grief.
Yancey’s purpose in writing this book is to offer comfort and hope to those facing a crisis of faith. Tragedies present a challenging opportunity to draw closer to Christ. No one is exempt from the fallout of death and destruction in this life, but our response to God’s promises of restoration and redemption is key to finding peace in the chaos. Yancey points out that even Job demanded but did not receive an explanation for his great losses; God revealed Himself instead. Multiple examples are also given illustrating how God intervenes through believers to provide practical help and an eternal perspective to hurting people.
Yancey’s newest book, like all of his other writing, inspired me once again to look beyond any troubles I am facing to the only One who can lead me to find meaning and purpose there. Yancey stands on Scripture to address the grim reality of suffering and evil. But more importantly, he urges his readers to look beyond the usual questions to a good, gracious, and just God, who always has the last word. I would highly recommend this short, fast-paced book to anyone who is more interested in knowing God than in receiving specific answers.