#21 From my reading…

cover art, Where Is God When It Hurts? by Philip Yancey

from Chapter 12

“An Answer Far Better Than Why

Not long after reading the books by Elie Wiesel and Corrie ten Boom, I visited the site of one of the Nazi concentration camps. On the grounds of the Dachau camp near Munich, I met with a man who survived the Holocaust and who has taken on a life mission of announcing to the world that God’s love is deeper than the sloughs of human depravity. He helped me understand how Corrie ten Boom’s hopeful view of life was even possible in such a place.
The man, Christian Reger, spent four years as a prisoner in Dachau. His crime? He had belonged to the Confessing Church, the branch of the German state church which… opposed Hitler.
“Nietzsche said a man can undergo torture if he knows the Why of his life,” Reger told me. “But here at Dachau, I learned something far greater. I learned to know the Who of my life. He was enough to sustain me then, and is enough to sustain me still….
It was not always so. After his first month in Dachau, Reger… abandoned all hope in a loving God…. Then, in July 1941, something happened to challenge his doubt…. Christian Reger was transformed from that moment. It was a small miracle, as miracles go, but sufficient to anchor his faith in bedrock that could not be shaken, not even by the atrocities he would witness over the next four years in Dachau.
“God did not rescue me and make my suffering easier. He simply assured me that he was alive, and knew I was here. We Christians drew together. We formed a church here….
“I can only speak for myself. Others turned from God because of Dachau. Who am I to judge them? I simply know that God met me. For me he was enough, even at Dachau.”

Yancey, Philip. Where Is God When It Hurts? (Zondervan: Grand Rapids, 1990), 174-7.

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