Begin Again – Max Lucado

Begin Again Max Lucado
Begin Again: A Journey of Restoration and Renewal Awaits You by Max Lucado
Also by this author: You Are Never Alone: Trust in the Miracle of God's Presence and Power
Published by Thomas Nelson on December 29, 2020
Genres: Non-Fiction, Christian Life, Theology
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five-stars

God is in the business of fresh starts. Are you struggling with sadness, pain, or disappointment? If so, take heart. A new chapter awaits you.
New York Times bestselling author and pastor Max Lucado celebrates God’s promise to restore and renew. Max prepares us for the journey ahead by encouraging us to:
Trust that God is the author of new beginningsRely on God’s love and protectionHold on to enduring hopeMake a difference in the lives of othersSet our sights on our eternal homeThis compilation—which also includes original, never-before-heard content from Max—assures us of the new possibilities ahead.
Take the next step toward hope and renewal. It’s never too late to Begin Again.

Back in March, the very same week that the world went into lockdown amid efforts to curtail COVID, I read through an advance copy of Max Lucado’s book You Are Never Alone. That book took on new meaning throughout this year, as families, churches, and communities found themselves separated or forced into different means of communication and connection. It was a book that was, unfortunately, still timely during its general release in September as a second—or was it third?—wave crashed over the country. Now, as we face both the bleak reality of 300,000 and more infections than ever, along with the hope of a vaccine, Max Lucado has returned again to lead us out of 2020 and to help us Begin Again.

Begin Again isn’t a book about COVID, it’s just difficult to have any discussion of renewal without looking forward to the end of this pandemic. Coupled with the end of year, a time when people typically make New Year’s resolutions, there’s this great feeling of anticipation that we will leave 2020 behind. Perhaps more than ever, people are ready for a fresh start.

Not a reset.

Not going back to normal.

Not a “new normal.”

But a new beginning.

We’re looking toward a future that’s better than even the “normal” of the past, because, let’s face it, the old normal wasn’t that great for a lot of people. We don’t need to rewind, revert, and replay. We need to Begin Again. In his inimitable style and conversational tone, Max Lucado provides hope as only he can, giving readers a calm, trusted, prophetic voice amid the chaos.

Lucado begins by reminding readers of the trustworthiness of God. He encourages us to give our fears over to God. Using the example of Jairus’ daughter, Max leads us through trusting God amid tragedy and uncertainty. He reminds us to find God’s blessings amid the chaos and to rest in his love and protection; to be still and let God fight for us. (I can think of how God’s done exactly that for me in the past and it gives me the faith I need to believe that He’ll do it again in the future.)

Amid the prophets of doom and gloom—who can be useful, and among whom I might usually number myself—Max Lucado is the flip side. He doesn’t ignore systemic injustice or downplay the reality of evil. Max isn’t claiming that there’s-nothing-bad-so-don’t-worry-stop-crying-there’s-nothing-to-cry-about-everything-happens-for-a-reason-so-don’t-feed-bad-that-this-happened-God’s-victorious. Praising God in the storm means acknowledging the storm. Beginning again means recognizing that the current path isn’t viable. Understanding that God is with us through the valley of death—but that’s it’s still a Valley of Death—is instructive. Max is positive, encouraging, exhortative, all while acknowledging and admitting that things need a new beginning.

That’s what leads to the book’s conclusion, which is that while we can begin again, what we’re all really aching for—what we were made for—is the new beginning. That’s where we end. That God is faithful to us, in this life and the next, and what we struggle through here is worth the end result God has is store for us. Begin Again is a balm for a weary world that’s been struck with all sorts of inequity and injustice and unfairness. Max encourages us to use this time not to just get back on track, but to—through the Spirit—renew ourselves and make new beginnings.

five-stars