3 Questions: Max Lucado

The pastor and best-selling author shares inspiration for dealing with the many challenges of the the past year.

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- Posted on May 27, 2021

Author and pastor Max Lucado; photo © 2013 Robert Seale/All Rights Reserved

We had a chat with Max Lucado about what we’ve been facing in the past year, from the coronavirus pandemic to global protests against racism. Among his latest projects is the upcoming book Begin Again: Your Hope and Renewal Start Today, which is full of biblical help. And as Max proved in our talk, he is full of practical help for the challenges of our times.

1. What do you make of the unprecedented times we are living in?

This is a time of upheaval unlike any I have ever seen, unlike anything the world has ever seen. It’s global upheaval. It’s physical: Covid-19 can attack your body. It’s emotional: You’re isolated from the people you love. It’s financial: So many people are facing severe setbacks.

In seasons of immense change, what’s important is to look for what has not changed. For the person of faith, that means the existence of God, the sovereignty of God, the plan of God. Turn to those and believe. We serve an unchanging God.

Early in my ministry, I served in Brazil. I came to understand there are certain things that are transcultural. They supersede culture. The need to know who God is. The promise of forgiveness. The promise of eternal life. No matter where you are, no matter what language you speak, those are human longings.

2. What do you think is one of our greatest spiritual challenges?

We elevate ourselves. We position ourselves higher than we position others. That is such a struggle. I hear that in the conversations about race, equality and acceptance. There is a strain of superiority. We have had a wake-up call, after some 400 years of positioning one race over another.

There’s a question that helps me in a conversation. I ask myself, “What is it like to be you?” What is it like to be a Black male today? What is it like to be a female in a world marked by men in gray flannel suits?”

To become a better listener, don’t allow yourself to be formulating a response. A couple with marriage issues was talking with me recently, and the husband said, “I act like I’m listening, but most of the time I’m just reloading.” Let’s listen. Hear the whole story. Really respect what it’s like to be you.

I find people are so happy to talk about their situation. Earlier today, I was on a Zoom call and a new person was on it. “Tell us your story,” I said. I love that phrase. He did for four or five minutes. I didn’t try to direct it. People will share who they really are.

3. Is there a prayer you find yourself saying these days?

Lord, I ask, what are you doing? By permitting this pandemic, by showing us these racial issues?

One morning I prayed, and I heard the word calling. I understood that to mean that God is calling people back to himself. Calling us to walk more closely with him. Calling to those who don’t know him, getting their attention. We are being reminded of how frail we are.

I turn to the story about Jesus walking on the water. The whole idea of it. Coming to his disciples in the middle of the storm. He could have kept that storm from ever coming, but he let it. He let the storm come, then showed up. Jesus will show up in the midst of this storm.

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