The big release date for Wrestling with Wonder is less than a week away!! Whoo-Hoo! Plan to buy your copy on Tuesday. :-) And when you do, send me a picture of you and the book (here's a photo from my sis-in-law, Jill, who has an advanced copy). I'd love to see you and the book (and that'll give me a chance to pray for you specially too).
Meanwhile, here's an bit of an excerpt from the end of chapter one for you to enjoy. Each chapter has a final section titled WHO IS THIS GOD? Here is that section in chapter one:
WHO IS THIS GOD?
But I accepted Christ years ago, you may say. What does this have to do with me?
Because I think God often breaks into our ordinary, everyday lives with a call to more. It may be in the kitchen, in the classroom, in the office, or even in the laundry room. And there he is, interrupting our lives with a greater vision, a deeper call. Wooing us to wonder with an impossible dream. With his dream, and not ours.
Because he is with us.
So, we must ask: Who is this God? Who is he who interrupts our lives with a call to the impossible?
He is the Dream Taker and the Dream Maker.
The Dream Taker
“Follow your dreams!” says the world.
“Die to self,” says God. “Die to your plans, your dreams, your tight-fisted grip on what your life should be.”
“You can do anything you set your mind to!” says the world.
“I am God, you are not,” says God. “Submit to me, and together we will do everything I set my mind to.”
“Be somebody!” says the world. “Accomplish, achieve, fight your way to the top!”
“Be mine,” says God. “Stop striving and instead rest in my plans for you. Will you be my handmaiden?”
The Dream Maker
Meditate on these verses. Hear in them God’s call to you:
· “Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart” (Psalm 37:4). Not “Take delight in the Lord and he will do whatever you want.” Instead, he will give you the desires themselves—new desires, new dreams, his dreams for you. His dreams will becomes yours!
· “For we are God’s masterpiece, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God has already prepared for us to walk around in” (Eph. 2:10, translation mine). He has already favored us with a plan and a call. It’s all prepared. You just have to let go and step forward.
· “I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord (Jeremiah 29:11, emphasis mine). And they aren’t our plans. They aren’t our dreams. They aren’t our carefully scripted ideas for what our lives should be. Instead, they are a call to the impossible—to loss, confusion, difficulty, misunderstandings, ridicule ... and ultimately to wonder.
So in the great calls, and in the small: Rejoice, fear not, and submit. Whisper to God, “Let it be to me as you have said.”
Do you dare? Mary did. And so the adventure began ... an adventure that would look nothing like her expectations. She would enter a life that at every turn seemed to go awry, where nothing would make sense, where doubt and confusion, pain and fear were her companions, where the Son of God himself would seem to have lost his mind.
But she would find him on the journey and become who she was always meant to be.
What about me? What about you?
Do you long for your own wild and wondrous adventure with an unexpected God who does the impossible in ways we never imagined? If so, let go! Open your white-knuckled fingers wrapped around your ordinary plans. Accept the wild, crazy gift of a call that will defy all your expectations.
Because once you say yes, you will embark on a journey where nothing is as it seems, nothing happens as expected. A journey that will lead to the foot of a cross ...
Fear Not ...
Do you dare?
If so, turn the page, and hang on . . .