Yancy Gets Me

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I love Philip Yancy!  He’s one of my all-time favorite writers. He gets me. Not only does he understand my heart condition and the struggles that I have, but he writes about them.  That’s important to me because I don’t personally know Philip Yancy.  I’ve never met the man, and yet, I feel like he regularly opens my chest and takes a peek inside and reports on what he sees.  I’m so glad he writes and shares his struggles with me.

Philip Yancy Gets Me!!!

I’m sharing what I am today because I quit my teaching job at the church recently.  It was hard, but it needed to be done.  I’m not worried about who will step up to take my place.  There are many wonderful teachers at our church and I know the lil corner room will soon be filled with some amazing other who will be blessed by God as he or she ruminates on his or her understanding of the Holy Scriptures.  I’m glad for that. Delighted, actually!

It will be good to hear someone else share their questions about this faith we wrestle with as the body of Christ.

The impetus to step away, for me, has been revealing.  I wanted to share some of what I’m feeling with you.  A lil glimmer into what I’m dealing with right now is this…

God is a vapor in my life today.  A shadow in fog that is present, but hard to see and even harder to hear.  He’s been really silent in my studies lately.  I feel Him in the desperate moments, but I don’t want to teach from a place of worry.  I’m having a hard time concentrating on the Word lately, or hearing Him speak to me in significant or inspiring ways.  Not good!  Not for a facilitator of discussions with eternal significance attached.

Yancy has had his won quiet seasons with God, too. 

Today, I want to share a snippet of vintage Yancy, taken from his book,  Reaching for the Invisible God, and included in his book, Grace Note: Daily Readings with a Fellow Pilgrim.  I hope you enjoy reading this as much as I did, and I hope it resonates with you as much as it has with me.  Those passages emphasized with bold lettering are the places where this writing hit me hardest today.

I love Yancy!  He gets me, and to me, that’s important!

Yancy wrote…

“Faith gets tested when a sense of God’s presence fades or when the very ordinariness of life makes us questions whether our responses even matter.  We wonder, “What can one person do? What difference will my small effort make?”

I once watched a series based on interviews with survivors from World War II.  The soldiers recalled how they spent a particular day. One sat in a foxhole all day; once or twice a German tank drove by, and he shot at it. Others played cards and frittered away the time.  A few got involved in furious firefights. Mostly, the day passed like any other day for an infantryman on the front.  Later, they learned they had just participated in one of the largest, most decisive engagements of the war, the Battle of the Bulge.  It did not feel decisive to any of them at the time, because none had the big picture of what was happening elsewhere.

Great victories are won when ordinary people execute their assigned tasks—and a faithful person does not debate each day whether he or she is in the mood to follow the sergeant’s orders or show up at a boring job. We exercise faith by responding to the task that lies before us.  I sometimes wish the gospel writers had included details about Jesus’ life before he turned to ministry. Did he ever question the value of the time he was spending as a carpenter on such repetitious tasks?

More often than I would care to admit, doubts gnaw away at me.  I wonder about apparent conflicts in the Bible, about suffering and injustice, about the huge gap between the ideals and reality of the Christian life.  At such times, I plod on, “acting as if” it is true, relying on the habit of belief, praying for the assurance that eventually comes yet never shields me against the doubts’ return.”   –Philip Yancy, Reaching for the Invisible God

Have you ever read anything by Philip Yancy?  What is your favorite title by him?

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4 thoughts on “Yancy Gets Me

  1. N. Bird says:

    I have only read one book and that was a book Phillip Yancy wrote with Dr. Paul Brand, “Fearfully and Wonderfully Made.”
    This was many years ago and it so spoke to me, as a nurse and a Christian as they wrote of the multiple lessons and commonalities when comparing the physical body and the body of Christ.
    After reading this post I guarantee his other books will be on my Christmas and birthday lists this year. I knew he had written other books but didn’t know the titles.
    The timing of reading this post couldn’t have been more timely, isn’t that just like our God! Today I was having doubts about what possible good I could be doing at the children’s home. It is a beautiful place here with fine buildings that have been donated and built by volunteers but behind all that there are teens and children who are struggling with pain and rejection and separation from family and friends. Thirteen year old’s expecting babies and still babies themselves. And I sit at a desk, answer the phone, give out a kleenex and a hug now and then and keep candy in a basket on my desk. I listen to their heartaches but can do nothing to make them go away. I feel like it is just putting a bandaid on a gaping wound!
    Yancy’s story of the soldiers reminded me that I don’t see the whole picture and I only need to be faithful to my task; a listening ear, a piece of candy or a tissue. And I can’t wait to see how God works out the bigger picture that I just can’t see right now.
    Scripture tells us to “not grow weary in well doing” Thanks for the reminder Lori and Mr. Yancy.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lorihoose says:

      I have read Fearfully and Wonderfully Made, also, Great book. Yancy credits Dr. Brand with changing his whole aspect on faith, prayer, God and pain. He owes much to Dr. B, he says. I believe him. It’s a wonderful thing to have someone in your life who sees things differently and is willing to share that other perspective with you. You’ve always done that for me, Jean. I haven’t said “thank you” often enough! Thank you!

      I know that you would like to do much more where you are now, but I also know how meaningful it can be just to have someone look you in the eye, see your pain, and respond with a human touch. Never underestimate that human factor. You are God’s hands, his arms, his smile and his touch of love to those teens every day in your position. Your work matters. You matter!!!

      Liked by 1 person

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