I can admit it – I read what some might term “fluff.”
Okay -sometimes I opt for the really deep stuff. Typically, however, when there’s no big stressor going on in my life – or, when God kinda hits me upside the head with something I simply MUST read.
But most of the time – I opt for something that will make me laugh, smile, maybe cry a little – and always will urge me to walk closer with my Savior.
I know – it’s “in” to be a super deep thinker.
I’m all for it.
But – dang it all – I need to read something that doesn’t ADD stress to my life, okay?
In 2007 – right knee deep in Mom’s illness – when I was more or less house-bound with my sweet Mommy, I needed something to read in my few moments of quiet – snatched, as they were, as rare gifts.
I must have been searching online when I came across an author I was unfamiliar with. Her name is Susan May Warren.
We’re BFF’s now – Susan and I.
Ahem – right. Not. But hey – I’ve read a whole lot of her stuff now, and I pretty much have NEVER come away from reading one of her books without feeling gratitude for having invested my time there.
There’s nothing worse than getting to the end of a book and regretting the time spent.
Hence, my love of Mrs. Warren’s work!
Was at the library the other day and stumbled across a title that I’d somehow missed previously, and checked it out – without a clue as to what I’d find. (And amazingly – the first in a series! Woo Hoo!)
(If you click the picture of the book cover, it’ll take you to the author’s web site – and a chance to read the first chapter!)
And I don’t want to give the book away or anything, but the thing that God brought over and over again in this book were the themes of forgiveness, grace, and mercy.
How I need them.
How others need them.
How I don’t deserve them – but then, who does?
Yet He gives all three without expiration date, limit, or our need to merit it.
Okay – so maybe it’s not fluff, after all.
Reading this book this week was more like a big long drink of much needed water after a hike through a stretch of wilderness.
And not to offer a spoiler or anything, but here’s a little something that I’ve gone back and re-read several times since I finished the book.
Grace. Accountability and forgiveness in one shot… God’s perfect plan, worked out through the sacrifice and love of His Son. For what purpose? To show God’s love to the world. To draw men to Himself, so they could worship Him, enjoy Him, delight in Him, so He might shower them with His unfathomable love. A love that brought the dead to life, that gave children to the barren, that reunited man with his Creator, and that resurrected hope and fulfilled dreams.
God was so worthy of her delight. Suddenly the verse… spoken to her the night she’d sat crumbling … rushed through her mind. “Take delight in the Lord, and He will give you your heart’s desires.”
The first step in delighting in God was delighting in His forgiveness – something … she’d never, not even once, allowed herself to do. Why not? Because she didn’t deserve to delight in a forgiveness that was easy. Somehow, she couldn’t get past the idea that forgiveness had to be earned, had to be painful.
But hadn’t she been forgiven because of Christ’s payment for her sins? And that gift had certainly been painful for her Savior. To not delight in His forgiveness was to betray Jesus’ excruciating sacrifice for her salvation. No wonder she felt so bereft. Not delighting in God’s forgiveness was like opening up a priceless gift, setting it aside, and demanding to pay for it. It cheapened the gift and offended the giver. What she should be doing is throwing herself into the arms of her Savior.
It goes on – but you really just need to get the book and read it for yourself.
Nothing like this little reminder – right in the midst of this season when the focus is on everything but the heart of what it’s all supposed to be about.
Just what I needed!