This post is not about me. This review is not about me. The subject and the story leading into my review, however, are about me. More specifically, the subject is something that I would venture to guess many of us deal with on a daily basis. So let me begin by being real transparent about that elephant in the middle of the room called fear. It is real. So real that Max Lucado, one of my favorite authors has blessed us all by writing a book to remind each and every single person that reads it who is in control of our fears.
Over a year ago, I went to visit the doctor for a routine physical. I was suffering from some abdominal pain so when the blood test came back with a higher than normal bilirubin number, you can imagine what came next…fear. A quick visit to Web MD (which I recommend NO ONE does) revealed that one of the results could be the dreaded “C” word. All of the sudden that back pain on the left side, upper abdominal pain on the left side, high bilirubin and a gall bladder removal which didn’t fix the problem had this blogger freaking out. One Ultrasound, X-Ray and CT scan later and the results were still the same. “Pancreas looks fine, no idea why you’re having that pain”. Fast forward one year later. The Bilirubin has no real answer. The pain in my back has been called “muscular skeletal” and the abdominal pain is just “one of those things”. None of those answers help reduce the fear that lies within.
One week ago, while in the midst of reading the book “Fearless” by Max Lucado, I scheduled another annual physical. Still scared to death at what might happen and with honestly NO REASON why. I went to my physical convinced I would hear something I didn’t want to hear. The elephant in the middle of the room (fear) had taken up residency on my shoulders (maybe THAT explains the back pain?). I have allowed something which doesn’t come from our creator and the one that loves us to define my thoughts, dominate my days and interrupt my sleep. Fear is real and I deal with it (some would say don’t deal with it) all day and night. Just like my abdominal pain, it serves as a reminder of my past and creates a mess of my future. Enter the book FEARLESS….
Max Lucado has always been one of my favorite authors. His writing and his books have a way of simplifying the complicated and reminding us that our heavenly father wants nothing more than to be with us and love on us. While the subject of fear is real and can be identified, our response to fear is what will determine how we spend the days (and nights) of our lives. We can either be defined by it (like Peter when he “saw the wind” in Matthew 12:30) or we can determine to allow one of the 21 Christ-issued imperatives about fear to sink in and be our answer to fear (pg. 10 Fearless). As you can imagine, the chapter on “Worst Case Scenario” (Chapter 7) might as well have been written about and for me. It hit me write where I live and breathe each day. If it’s any indication, Heather (who has also read the book) noted that chapter when we were discussing the book. I hold the patent on the “worst case scenario thinking”.
Friends, I have read twenty one of Max Lucado’s books. I can say, with confidence, that the book “Fearless” is in the top 3 of all of them. “In the Grip of Grace” taught me to forgive my past and others and accept God’s gift of a grace while never being able to wrap my head around it. “Traveling Light” taught me to leave the burdens I have and the baggage I was never meant to carry somewhere in the past. “Fearless” went straight to my enemy, my “thorn” (as Paul called it), my elephant in the middle of the room and gave me ample reasons to kindly ask fear to leave my home. Am I cured instantly? No. However “Fearless” is a book and collection of reminders of the many reasons why I am on the way to recovery from my fears.
I recommend “Fearless” to anyone that reads this post. This is one of Max’s finest works. He has taken a subject that is relevant and real and delivered the prescription to what is bothering us. He has once again become the vessel by which God can deliver a message of love for his children. We were not created to fear, but to trust.
When the bilirubin number is abnormal….don’t fear….trust.
When the abdominal pain lingers….don’t fear….trust.
When the back pain persists….don’t fear….trust.
If you’re wondering about my physical, my doctor marveled at my BMI dropping from a 30+ one year ago to a “perfect 23”.The blood pressure reading was “122/80” after 6 months of NO blood pressure medicine and previous visits being pegged in the hypertension numbers. The doctor called tonight to say that my blood work looked “beautiful” too. The physical turned out to be a great visit and news.
All that fear. All that worry. All that self diagnosis and hours spent in “worst case”.
Nothing to fear.
I give the book “Fearless” a 5 out of 5.