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!
“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?