Saturday, November 15, 2008

I Do Believe

No sooner had I talked about the fact that lately I've been reading nothing but memoirs than I suddenly got the urge to read a certain book- and it's not a memoir. You might even call it a self help book. But don't worry, it's not one of those "7 Simple Steps to Peace and Prosperity" books. It's a book that simply states, by its title, what we all want to know when we feel we can't go another step: Believe that You Can.

I needed this book this past week. I needed this book's message and I needed to read this author's personal accounts of times when he almost laid down his dreams and his calling because he thought he was all done in. Jentezen Franklin isn't just a good author or pastor. He's also a dreamer. Not a dreamer in the sense of pie-in-the-sky but more like "how to have a dream when there's mud in your face". I wasn't looking for eloquent language or powerful principles well stated and documented. And that's not what I found when I read this book. What I found was hope and a bit of a kick in the pants. A loving one.

I can't even write right now all that's going on in my head and in my life. It's been tense and its been tight financially and its been a bit toxic- the anxiety and the confusion about where we are, where we are going, and where did we get off track- if we did get off track. Cause after reading this book, maybe - I'm thinking- maybe we're just "three days from nowhere" as Franklin writes. Maybe we're closer to a breakthrough than we realize. Maybe we're not giving ourselves enough credit for trying to follow God, even if we fail and flub our way into finding His will. And maybe we're not giving God enough credit for wanting to show up...at just the right time. His right time. Not mine.

Here's the best quote, maybe, in this entire book- and it comes right after he talks about the seasons of our life when we have no answers, no clarity about where we are anymore, and no lack of hurt and pain either:

"Let me give you a little pastoral advice. The biggest room in your brain had better be reserved for things you don't understand. If you have to understand everything before you will trust and serve God, you don't understand the concept of faith!"

Now ask me next week what my favorite quote from this book was and I may tell you something different. But for me, right now, for where I am at, where we are at financially, career wise, ministry wise- this is the quote that echoes in my head.

This quote reminds me of what an African Bible student once shared with me-over twenty years ago- when we were discussing God's will and how confusing it was to interpret God's will. He told me to put the things that I didn't understand "on a shelf" and leave them there till the time would come when I could take that question, that issue, off the shelf, dust it off, and smile- cause faith had finally turned to sight. In that day. That glorious day.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

what an outstanding post. So real, so true.

Anonymous said...

Great book!!! Can't live without faith in God.

Ted Huynh
President
http://www.nouveauland.com
Unique Christian Gifts

Gi said...

This book is great. I am happy it ministered to you

Marcos said...

Lauren,

Thank you for your honest and transparent post. I'm the Director of Sales for the Strang Book Group--which published BELIEVE THAT YOU CAN, by Jentezen Franklin (as well as FASTING -- another great book!)

Your post made my day! Stay strong, keep the faith and BELIEVE THAT YOU CAN!

Blessings,
Marcos

LAUREN at Faith Fuel said...

Marcos-
I'm actually hoping to read Jentezen's book on Fasting next.

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