We started off losing almost everything we own in a fire, then got screwed by the insurance company, and swindled by the apartment complex where we lived. We spent a month living in a hotel, then another month living in a mold-infested apartment, not knowing where we were going to go.
Perfect strangers have stepped up with radical generosity, while good friends and family members sat on the sidelines and watched us struggle. This year has made me question my marriage, my faith, and even myself.
Somewhere in the shuffle I had been sent Life Is ___. by Judah Smith to review, but it wasn’t exactly on the top of my priority list. Once I finally picked it up, I was very slow to read through it, but not because it wasn’t interesting. It was so deep, and so relevant to where I was living, I needed the time to really process it.
The book is divided into, Life is … to be loved and love. Life is … to trust God in every moment. Life is … to be at peace with God and yourself. Life is … to enjoy God.
I have mentioned before that I attend a network church if Lifechurch.tv, and Judah Smith is a frequent guest speaker for Lifechurch, so I was familiar with his quirky style. I still laughed out loud during the chapter he talked about wearing Spanx.
This is an easy, conversational read, but like I said, there is a lot to ponder. The book talks about who God is, how he loves us, and what he is doing in our lives.
“Oh, you’re in a storm? You’re facing trouble? You must have done something wrong, or you must not have enough faith that God can rescue you.”
But that’s not what the Bible teaches. The Bible teaches that we all face storms. But Jesus is in our boat, and he’s not freaking out. Maybe we should take a hint.
Second, just because we have Jesus in our boast doesn’t mean we won’t get wet. That is, just because we love and follow Jesus doesn’t mean we won’t be affected by the circumstances of life.
Bam. That spoke right to me. I have definitely gotten wet this year. I have wondered where God is, and why I am dripping wet.
It’s almost as if life’s storms seek to sway us and steal our awe. They want to garner our reverence, and they attempt to convince us of their power.
This was definitely a timely reminder for me that Jesus is in the boat, and he’s got this. To stop looking at the storm and start looking at the one who can calm it with a word.
The book covers a lot more real estate than that, but I don’t want to write a book of my own telling you about it. If you have struggled with life and faith, or you just want to be reinsured about how awesome God is, and how irrational his love is for us, I think you would enjoy this book.
One final part that really made me think was the chapter in which he talked about Simon, the man who carried Jesus’ cross. Now, I have never stopped to consider who he was, or what could have been going through his mind, but Smith’s narration of the story blew me away. Simon was just a random guy, in town on business, pulled out of a crowd to carry a cross for someone headed to die like a criminal. Was he annoyed? Afraid?
Simon doesn’t realize that this interruption, this bother, will turn out to be one of the highest privileges in human history. He is just a passerby, but he has the honor of being the man who carried the cross of the Savior of the world. What he thinks is a nuisance becomes part of the story that changed history.
There are a million small annoyances in my day, which ones have a declined to do that could have been a game-changer?
*this post contains affiliate links. This book was provided to me by HarperCollins Christian publishing in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.