God had Mack return to the shack to bring about healing in his life. Mack blamed himself for his daughter's death, he blamed God for his own pain as a child and later as a man and he could never truly find peace. I won't go into all the details of the movie in case you have not seen it yet. Needless to say, I was touched by the movie and what it represented.
God meets us where we are to bring us salvation and healing. That place is the shack. We are that broken- down dilapidated building. We are that place of pain and suffering. We are that house that is not fit to be a home. But that unfit dwelling place can and will become a home when we receive Jesus as our Lord and Saviour. John 14:23 says, "Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him." (KJV) When we receive Christ He promises that He will make His home with us. In the Old Testament the Temple was built by Solomon as a place for God to dwell. But when Jesus came He said that God no longer dwells in temples made by human hands as it says in Acts 17:24 but He now dwells in us, 1 Corinthians 3:16. 1 Corinthians 6:19, "Haven’t you yet learned that your body is the home of the Holy Spirit God gave you, and that he lives within you?" (TLB) "...each of us a temple in whom God lives. God himself put it this way: “I’ll live in them, move into them; I’ll be their God and they’ll be my people." (MSG)
So when we accept Jesus as our Lord, He then moves into this decaying ruin and begins a renovation. His Spirit in us teaches us, leads us, guides us. He takes us back to those places of our greatest pain, but this time instead of feeling all alone, He is with us. He holds us as He walks us through healing and restoration. As that happens, that shabby unkempt house begins to become a home. A place of rest, a place of peace. The debris and detritus of that life lived apart from God falls away and we become new. 2 Corinthians 5:17, "...what we see is that anyone united with the Messiah gets a fresh start, is created new. The old life is gone; a new life burgeons!" (MSG)
We become new because of that sacrifice that Jesus made for us. John 14:2 says that Jesus goes and prepares a place for us. The KJV says it this way, "In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you." Many people think because of this verse that Jesus has gone up to heaven and is in the midst of a huge building project. The blueprints are unfurled and brick and mortar are being laid to make us these palatial edifices that we will live in when we get to heaven. If we look back at the Greek, that word is actually monē, or according to Strong's Concordance, 'a staying, abiding, dwelling, abode; to make one's abode, and metaphorically of God the Holy Spirit indwelling believers'. And if we look at the context of the conversation that Jesus is having, they have just finished the Last Supper. Jesus speaks of His betrayal and then says that He will be leaving them and in John 13:36 in response to Peter's question of where Jesus is going, "Jesus replied, “Where I am going, you cannot follow now, but you will follow later.” (NIV) How can you follow someone unless they have either shown you the way or laid out a map for you? Read John 14:1-4 in the Message translation, "“Don’t let this throw you. You trust God, don’t you? Trust me. There is plenty of room for you in my Father’s home. If that weren’t so, would I have told you that I’m on my way to get a room ready for you? And if I’m on my way to get your room ready, I’ll come back and get you so you can live where I live. And you already know the road I’m taking.” So if this is the case, Jesus is going somewhere, but Peter and we also as His disciples will follow later, then He is at least leaving breadcrumbs for us to follow right? He says 'I go to prepare a place for you', or in this translation, to make a room ready for you. Where did He go to do that? He went to the cross. He went to prepare a place for us by making a way for us to get to the Father. He says in John 14:6, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." (ESV) The only way to the Father was through the death of Christ, the only way to forgiveness of sins was through the shed blood of Jesus. So Jesus went to the cross to prepare a place for us, an abode for us with the Father. He made a way for us to have an eternal home with the Father and the only way He could do that was by going to the cross sinless and dying a sinner's death for us.
Jesus stands at the door and knocks, the bible says. He is at the door of your ramshackle run-down life and He is knocking. Will you take the chance, will you open your heart and open that door and let Him in? It sometimes angers me that people who don't believe in God say that we Christians are fools. That belief in God is a crutch. That we have this pie in the sky delusion of an imaginary friend named Jesus. That He is not real and that our faith is useless. I know that I know that I know that He is real. That He has given me life and freedom, that He has changed my life. That I have a hope and a future through Him. I am not the person I was before I received His salvation. I have seen the miraculous in my life and in the lives of others. I have felt His Spirit and I have heard His voice. I know Him and He knows me. I know I don't see Him fully yet, but soon I will. I will one day behold Him in all His glory. " Whenever, though, they turn to face God as Moses did, God removes the veil and there they are—face-to-face! They suddenly recognize that God is a living, personal presence, not a piece of chiseled stone. And when God is personally present, a living Spirit... Nothing between us and God, our faces shining with the brightness of his face. And so we are transfigured much like the Messiah, our lives gradually becoming brighter and more beautiful as God enters our lives and we become like him," 2 Corinthians 3:16-18 (MSG). We become like Him. No longer a crumbling neglected ruin but a glorious temple of the living God. Not a shack, not a mansion; something even greater, the residence of our heavenly Father.