Welcome to our blog for keeping family and friends up to date on the latest Clemmer-family news, and all the ramblings of a stay-at-home mom trying to stay sane among all the craziness!

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Review of Fearless by Max Lucado

I just finished Fearless by Max Lucado. The title pretty much sums up the theme of the book, although it may be simplifying the issue a bit. The message that Max Lucado shares in Fearless is how to address and overcome the fears we face. And these days, those fears can be great and overwhelming, ranging from fears about health or finances to wars and the economy. Many of these same fears have paid me a visit personally over the past few years in some form or another, especially since we now have kids of our own.

Somehow it seems as if having kids has upped the fear factor - there are so many more/new things to worry about. For example, earlier in the year we were going to take an extended trip and drive to see family in Texas but word of the swine flu was spreading faster than the actual flu was and we decided to cancel the trip - pretty much based on our fear of what contact with the virus could mean to our children. Although some of our fears are based on fact and sound reasoning, others may not be. This book helps distinguish between unfounded fears and living an educated, although unafraid life.

Maybe that's why I found it so appealing. I am by nature a fearful person. I knew even as a child that I was a worrier. I got it honestly, if worrying is a trait that can be inherited, because both my grandmother and mother are worriers. It's my personal "thorn" in my side and one that I struggle daily with. I have recently come to realize that I need desperately to find a way to get my fears and worries under control so that I can be an effective and strong parent for my children. I realize that God is the answer, but was unsure of where to start. Prayer has most definitely helped, but when I saw the title of this book, I couldn't help but want to hear more. I was intrigued to see what this godly teacher had to say about it, or more importantly to glean from his knowledge of scripture what God says about it. The encouragement I've taken from this book, from the scriptures quoted and reassurances given from Jesus himself has been great.

The fact that Jesus warns that we will have trouble, that we will be persecuted, and that things will get worse before they get better (at least on a global scale) is countered by the fact that God is in control and that all things happen by his plan for the good of his people. The fact that God's children still get sick and die, still suffer loss of finances, homes, children, jobs, the list goes on and on, is tempered by the fact that God is there. Max Lucado points out that Jesus's most common command falls into the theme of "fear not." He says that "the Gospels list some 125 Christ-issued imperatives. Of these, 21 urge us to "not be afraid" or "not fear" or "have courage" or "take heart" or "be of good cheer." (pg. 10)

The fact that Jesus addresses the issue of fear so often proves that he realized how prevalent our fear would be. Max Lucado also points out that Jesus himself suffered fear before he went to the cross. It's easy for me to forget that Jesus experienced the same feelings and emotions that we do every day as a man. The fact that he is also God sometimes makes me forget that he has a personal experience with fear.

I have highlighted so many passages in this book, I wish I could share them all with you, but I'm sure that would be some kind of copyright infringement! I cannot tell you how much this book has helped and encouraged me. Although I know that my battle with fear may be a never-ending one, I have a renewed knowledge that God is there, waiting for me to pour my heart out to Him in prayer. That He will answer and that He never moves or changes. That if I will fix my gaze on Him and not on the problem or fear, I will not falter. That God is always bigger than my worries. These are facts we are hopefully taught in Sunday School growing up, but to be reminded of them is never a redundant lesson.

Fearless may be a quick and easy read, but it is anything but "fluff" reading. The message in this book is one of hope and encouragement for us as we face new fears each day. If you suffer from fear, doubt or worry, this is most definitely a book to read. Start with Fearless and continue with prayer and praise.

1 Peter 5:7 - Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.


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