Harold Bloomfield is a psychiatrist and author of many books including the classic How to Survive the Loss of a Love (over 3 million copies sold). Philip Goldberg is a spiritual counselor and Interfaith minister. They both agree with Sri Ramakrishna, the Indian sage, who said, "Nothing whatsoever is achieved in the spiritual life without yearning."
In this book aimed at spiritual seekers of all stripes, they discuss some of the universal challenges and obstacles faced by those who want to make peace with God. There are chapters on wrestling with doubt, coming to terms with pain and suffering, accepting our sins and perfections, reuniting with the Divine, and rising above the lonely ego. The book contains a smorgasbord of thoughtful quotations, fine illustrative material, and practical exercises and self-assessment quizzes.
Bloomfield and Goldberg have identified nine archetypal pathways to God to help readers identify the nature of their own quest: the reformer, the lover, the achiever, the creator, the thinker, the security-seeker, the adventurer, the boss, and the peacemaker. This is a very useful tool that includes both a general description of each type and its spiritual challenge.
According to the authors, making peace with God has the following benefits: individuals can become partners with God in co-creating their reality; fear can be transformed into awe and wonder; the sense of meaning and purpose is rejuvenated; anger toward God is dissipated; accepting Divine forgiveness is liberating; death is faced as a reality; doubts can be accepted as part of the journey; the commitment to the spiritual path is strengthened; and living with the mystery of God is acceptable.
Bloomfield and Goldberg mine the riches of a spiritual understanding of suffering, drawing upon the wisdom of many traditions. They even note the wisdom of Swami Beyondananda: "Life is like photography. You use the negative to develop." Since there is no way around pain and heartbreak, it is best to follow the Sufi strategy and see it as a fruitful ground for opening to grace and transformation.
Viktor Frankl wrote about concentration camp inmates who "were able to retreat from their terrible surroundings to a life of inner riches and spiritual freedom." Peace with God leads to such a deep perspective. It reverses our usual way of being and doing. The Vietnamese monk Thich Nhat Hanh sums it up: "People should not try to run away from their suffering. In fact, you have to hold the suffering and look deeply into it, because that is the only way to discover the true nature of your suffering. And when you have seen the true nature of your suffering you have a chance to see the way out."