How Does The Shack Teach Individuals that the Tragedies We Experience in Life Can Be Our Blessings in Disguise?

Today I went to the movies to see The Shack starring Sam Worthington, Octavia Spencer, and Tim McGraw. The main character, Mackenzie Phillips (also known as Mac), played by Sam Worthington is having a difficult time grieving the loss of his daughter who died during a camping trip during the summer. Mackenzie has always had a lukewarm relationship with God because of the circumstances he had to face during his childhood that forced him to have resentment towards his father. Mac blames God for allowing his daughter to die and feels as though he needs answers as to why God allowed his child to die in such a gruesome manner.

Mackenzie does not realize that as he is grieving the loss of his youngest child, he is separating himself away from his wife and children in the process. Mac takes a trip to the cabin where his daughter was last seen and has an encounter with God in the process. God or Papa as known by the Phillips family shows Mac if he continues to allow his pain to take control of his life, he will lose everything he cherishes the most. Papa takes Mac on journey of spiritual growth and teaching him that even when we forsake God he is always there to pick us back up. As I was watching this movie, I really felt like the holy spirit was showing me that God or Papa can come in different forms. Most Christians view God has a man, but God can come to us as a woman, child, or even an animal. You never know who or what God will use to get his message across.

Octavia Spencer played the role of Papa and she pushed Mac to let go of his pain and that he can have peace and joy in his life if he continues to build a relationship with God. I was a little surprised at first that a woman was playing God, but had to come to the realization that society places gender roles on every aspect of life to keep us close-minded to the idea that everything has to be a gender instead of something being apart of this universe. I do not want to give too much of the movie away to people who have not seen it yet, but it really changed my perspective on how I view God.

Talking to God does not have to be formal, but feel as though you are talking with a close friend you are very fond of. There are many people who have had a conversation with God and most individuals will think they are lying or they are delusional. It really is sad that we live in a time period where people do not even believe God exists and the Bible is viewed as a book of legends or myths. Our Heavenly Father continues to love us even when we deny him in front of others or we make the decision to turn away from him. I could really relate to Mackenzie Phillips because at times I felt as though God has left me and has continued to let bad things to occur in my life. It is so easy to blame God when we are having problems in our life, but he is the first person we call when we need help.

Mackenzie did not realize that he was trying to play God by judging everyone who has ever hurt him in his life. Papa wanted Mackenzie to stop walking around with this guilt he had placed on his heart when his daughter died and trying to make himself believe he does not need God to survive. God is always there being our cheerleader and motivating each and every individual to live by his Word and forgive people who have hurt us. The Shack may cause a lot of controversy with many Christians trying to figure out if God can be seen in different forms. I believe the purpose of this movie was to show people that God exists and that he hears our cries of pain and suffering and is working to show us a path we can choose to take if we follow his principles. The tragedies that we experience in life can be our blessings in disguise if we allow ourselves to have closure and to let go of our past issues.

Death may be the end of our human life, but death leads to having salvation with the Lord and being able to be in place where there is no suffering or wickedness. This place that Papa wants us to be able to enter into one day is Heaven. It may seem like Earth is filled with wickedness, but God has created beautiful creatures on this planet to serve and honor him. God gives us free will to choose our own destiny whether it is good or bad.

Papa has a great plan for our life, but we have to accept the offer he is giving us because he may not give us too many chances to keep making the same mistakes over and over again. God’s grace is sufficient and everlasting, which means his love for mankind never runs dry and he will welcome us when open arms when we are ready to accept out assignment he has given us to complete during our time here on Earth.

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