From layoffs to financial collapse, illness to kids, and war to violence - Max covers it all. I don't care who you are, you will relate with at least one chapter, one fear, one nagging doubt in this book. Something about it will resonate with you, and Max will gently walk you through your fear, past your doubt, and into the arms of a loving God who just wants you to trust Him.
The biggest lesson, which seems to repeat itself chapter after chapter, is TRUST. God has it all under control. Hard to believe sometimes. And, even if you believe it, hard to put into action. We don't trust without doing our homework. We want to know track records, skill sets, degrees, and diplomas first. Thankfully, God was prepared for our unbelief. And He wrote a book. A book full of stories and accounts of faithful servants that trusted Him when they were afraid. And, of course, some that didn't.
As I was reading the book, I found several places that I thought, "this is it. This is the BIG point in the book for me. This is what I'll blog about." By the time I was through it, I had about 7. I think I'll narrow it down to two.
The chapter on finances was a home run for me. Max re-told the parable of the rich man who produced a good crop, then didn't have enough room to store them all up. It was at this point that Max hit home:
The tycoon in Jesus' story wasn't about to play the role of the grasshopper. No food lines or soup kitchens for him. And no food lines or soup kitchens for us either. We empathize with the fecund farmer. Truth be told, we want to learn from his success. . . .Doesn't the barn stuffer model responsible planning? And yet Jesus crowns him with the pointy hat of the dunce. Where did they guy mess up? Jesus answsers by populating three paragraphs with a swarm of personal pronouns. Reread the heart of the parable . . . . I.I.My.I.I.My.I.My.My.I.My.
The rich fool went to the wrong person (He asked himself) and asked the wrong question (What shall I do?). His error was not that he planned but rather that his plans didn't include God. Jesus criticized not the man's affluence but his arrogance, not the presence of personal goals but hte absence of God in those goals.
I was just simply reminded that in ALL I do, if I do it for Him, and with Him, whether it's my savings accounts or my grocery budget, He'll make it all work together for good.
My last revalation came toward the end, when Max quoted CS Lewis, from the book Prince Caspian.
Lucy sees Aslan for the first time in many years. He has changed since their last encounter. His size surprises her, and she tells him as much.
"Aslan," said Lucy, "you're bigger."
"That is because you are older, little one," answered he.
"Not because you are?"
"I am not. But every year you grow, you will find me bigger."
Okay, first of all, I completely missed this when reading Prince Caspian. Because, if you really look at it, it's backwards. As we get older/bigger, things from before, from our childhood, seem so much smaller. When you go back to the grade school playground, the swings aren't near as tall, nor the hopscotch squares as long. You've gotten bigger, and everything else seems smaller.
Not so with God. As we get bigger - as we grow in Him - he only gets greater in us. He doesn't change - not at all. We change our perception of Him. And, the more we learn, the more we grow, the more we get to see the majesty that He really is. May he blow the top off the box I have put him in, as I allow Him to grow in me. Because the bigger he is, the smaller any fear has to be. There's just not room for both.