At particular times in my spiritual life, Max Lucado has been there. This week, with a new job and whatever adventure that holds, I’ve been able to read his new book, FEARLESS (2009, Thomas Nelson). Honestly, it’s been like coffee with an old friend.
In a nutshell, this is the book of encouragement for those of us dealing with worry, with fear, with stress and strain in a bad economy where bills still need to be paid and families still need to be fed. He’s able to address our fears with a warmth that comes from his own dealings in the matter, and that is what I’ve always liked about Lucado’s work. His stories have a personal side that feel real and have a meaningful impact on what we all live through. Whether it’s a fear of being unnoticed, fear of the unknown, fear of God’s wrath, fear of the worst-case-scenario – you know that he’s got experience first-hand or through others. And that experience has been that through these fears and stresses and trials and troubles, God has been faithful.
And I don’t say that lightly, either. He’s made mistakes and he’s helped others through mistakes, and sometimes everything ends up badly. But God, through it all, just keeps showing Himself true and trustworthy. And those nuances come through in Lucado’s practical and mentoring storytelling style. As I was reading here, dealing with my own fear and with newfound fears in our daughter – where every corner is hiding a monster and every closet houses boogeymen – I felt that through life’s stuff, Jesus is not only there, but He’s there with protective arms, an understanding heart, open ears and big shoulders.
For me, this was rediscovering Lucado again for the first time, and I appreciate that in the fear, there’s a love from God that beats back the dark.