His book A Cure for Common Life inspired me to pursue my dream of writing when I was just starting the journey, when fear and doubt threatened to paralyze me and tempted me to forfeit my calling. This book encouraged my spirit, made me brave, and confirmed in my heart that God truly had planted a purpose within me.
Years later when my writing career began taking off, another of Max’s books crossed my path at just the right time. It’s Not About Me. I’ve always had an achiever mentality. I made straight A’s in school. Never got into trouble as a teenager. I have a strong perfectionist streak. And when I attach my name to something, I want to make sure it is the best possible work I can do. These are good qualities, God-given qualities, yet they also leave me particularly vulnerable to the sin of pride. And when books with my name on them started showing up on the Christian bestseller lists, humility became more and more elusive. This book helped recenter me. Helped me deflate my ego and turn the glory where it truly belongs, on the Lord.
Now I’m reading a new Max Lucado offering, and again, it is speaking to me just when I needed it to. My life is in transition. My daughter is about to graduate high school and head off to college. My son is learning to drive, and my youngest boy will be moving to high school this fall. My level of influence as a mother is shrinking as my children become more and more independent. Soon they will all be out of the house.
I’ve always prayed for them, from the time I carried them in my womb, but praying for them while I am around to guide them doesn’t require quite the same level of trust as praying for them when they are on their own. Making their own decisions. Living with the consequences. Consequences that could affect their souls, their faith, their spiritual walk. It’s terrifying. For some reason, trusting God with their physical safety is easy. Trusting God with their souls is so much harder, probably because the implications are eternal. Yet I keep telling myself that God loves them even more than I do, that he wants them in heaven with him, that he will work for their eternal good. But it’s still hard to truly let go and leave their well-being fully in his hands.
So I’ve found great solace in reading Before Amen: The Power of a Simple Prayer by Max Lucado. I’m only a couple chapters in, but already it has made an impact and given me confidence to come before the Father with my worries and fears and to leave them there at his feet.
When we invite God into our world, he walks in. He brings a host of gifts: joy, patience, resilience. Anxieties come, but they don’t stick. Fears surface and then depart. Regrets land on the windshield, but then comes the wiper of prayer. The devil still hands me stones of guilt, but I turn and give them to Christ. (p. 9)
Don’t take pride in well-crafted prayers. Don’t apologize for incoherent prayers. . . Just be honest–honest to God. Climb into his lap. Tell him everything that is on your heart. Or tell him nothing at all. Just lift your heart to heaven and declare, Father. . . Daddy . . . And sometimes “Daddy” is all we can muster. Stress. Fear. Guilt. Demands on all sides. All we can summon is a plaintive “Oh, Father.” If so, that is enough. (pp. 19-20)
- What books have you read lately that have spoken God’s truth into your spirit?
- Have you read Max Lucado? If so, what is your favorite book by him?
Also, I’m currently running a giveaway for another 4 copies of my latest release, With This Ring? If you would like to enter, I’ve included the contest entry form below. It will run until noon on Friday.