Sunday, November 9, 2014
Abraham by Charles Swindoll
This book was given me by Tyndale House for the purpose of reading and writing a review about it.
Quite a few years ago, I had read a few of Charles Swindoll's Biblical biographies and I really enjoyed them. I had no idea he was still writing them until I got this opportunity to review Abraham through Tyndale House. And really, it's quite impressive. Charles celebrated his 80th birthday before the book went to the printers. That is a life well-lived and he plans to keep going.
This is also how he views Abraham: a man who lived well and lived fully. Charles doesn't make Abraham out to be perfect; we all know Abraham made mistakes and even made the same mistake twice at times. But Abraham had the one thing we all need in life: faith.
Normally, I don't like to quote too much from the book because it can detract from the story, but for this book, I want to give you some of the quotes that struck me in the hopes that it will trigger your appetite for more and make you want to read the book.
"But if we know the destination and have all the details, we don't need faith, and we will never experience it's rewards." This is a good thing for me to remember right now especially as I grapple with what faith, hope and trust are and how they are the same and how they are different. I don't know the outcome of the next four months, but I know the God who does and so I need to have faith that God will work out the details. Along with that: "Trusting God never fails to satisfy. The rewards along the way are exhilarating." And then:, "Everybody I know is waiting for something. Waiting for relief. Waiting for an answer to prayer. Waiting for a dream to be fulfilled. The people who have grown deep in their relationship with God have learned to wait with anticipation instead of worry. They know that God keeps His promises, so they don't fret over whether the fulfillment will come but only when it will take place." And I would add to that, how it will take place. I am in a state of waiting right now. I am waiting for our dream to be fulfilled, but I know from past experience that my idea of answered prayer and God's idea of answered prayer can be very different. I don't have any assurance that my dream is going to be fulfilled in this lifetime, but I do know that if it isn't, my "dream" will go to heaven and someday I will see it fulfilled. And in the meantime, I need to have faith and allow God to work in my life. I want to grow deep in my relationship with God so that I can wait with anticipation like Abraham did. He believed God was going to make a great nation out of him, but he had no idea how. Yes, he took things in his own hands and it didn't turn out that well, but ultimately I think Abraham exercised a great deal of faith, I know he exercised more faith than I feel capable of many times.
Along with all that, there is this piece that God is never late. Another quote: "When we finally receive what we desire most, we will see that no time earlier and no time later would have been right." I will be honest, I can struggle with this thought, because I think that having our little girl alive and well and about 6 months old right now would have been the best thing in the world right now and yet I have to believe that God knew and knows best for her and for us and he will grant us a child when the time is right. As Charles says: "Forget about your own schedule and plans. Your agenda cannot take into account all the details that affect other people, and you cannot see how futer events will unfold. Fortunately, God has the perspective we lack, and He loves us more than we love ourselves. So His plan will give us greater joy than anything we could devise for ourselves. It could be said, then, that God answers the prayers we would pray if we could see what He sees."
Okay, I think I have gone on on enough now. You get the point that this book was a good read for me and I want to develop a faith like Abraham's; not that it will make me perfect, but it will make me forgiven and able to move ahead trusting in the unseen and believing with hope that God is faithful and that He has my ultimate best in mind.
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