A couple of things you should know about my pastor:
- He can catch birds with his bare hands.
- He’s sort of an internet sensation right now because he can catch birds with his bare hands.
- He just wrote a book with Colt McCoy and it’s pretty great.
I felt a little strange picking it up since it’s called The Real Win: A man’s quest for authentic success. Despite what some of my blog readers have said, I am not a man. And I’m not really on a quest for authentic success.
Nevertheless, I read it cover to cover cause Matt is my pastor (and he can catch birds with his bare hands.)
It’s triggered enough thoughts to fill a million blog posts, but I’ve tried to limit myself to 2 posts (6 thoughts).
I think everyone should read the book. Some chapters were good to read so I could learn/think about men. Some chapters were just good to read because the truths shared are glorious and necessary regardless of gender. Here are the first 2 out of 6 of my thoughts:
1. Trusting God is the end, not the means.
Matt was diagnosed with cancer at 31. It was a painfully long process for him trying to figure out if he was going to be totally okay, or if he was about to be given a very limited number of days to live. In the waiting, in the uncertain days, God birthed in him a new kind of trust:
“The night before my tests, I paced around my bedroom. I vented to Jenn about how frustrated I was that I’d done everything I knew how to do, I’d confessed every sin that I’d ever committed, yet God was still not freeing me from this trial.
Finally, out of anxiety; exhaustion and nervousness, I lost my cool and yelled at the top of my lungs, ‘Jennifer what does God want from me? I’ve done everything I can think of! What is He trying to teach me?” Calmly my wife looked at me and said, ‘Matt I don’t know what God’s trying to teach you. But I know this: He wants you to trust Him…
The next day I went to the cancer ward and sat in the waiting room, surrounded by dying people. My Bible in my hands, I began reading the story of Jesus on the cross. While Jesus was up there, some guy started mocking Him, saying things like: ‘Hey, I thought you trusted God. Why are you on this cross then? Why don’t you trust Him to get you off the cross’…And while I was reading…the holy spirit impressed these words on my heart so strongly: sometimes trusting in God means you don’t get to get off the cross.”
About eight years ago I sat in the bleachers of Austin High School and I listened to Matt share that story from the stage. I have never forgotten it.
This world we live in is constantly urging us to treat trust as if it is a box to check before God will give us what we want. When you trust God with your singleness, you will get to be married. When you trust God with your womb, He will give you kids. You’ll be delivered from this trial when you learn to trust God.
But trusting God is not the means to some other end. It’s not a hoop to jump through. It’s the goal. It’s the whole point.
2. Trusting God in the moments when providence seems so contrary to His promises gives Him so much glory.
Most of you probably know the story of Colt McCoy’s injury in the final game of his time at UT. I had no idea, even though I live in Austin Texas, and I’m pretty sure I watched that game.
I am about as far from being an athlete as Matt Carter is from being an interpretive dancer, but despite that – reading Colt’s account of what it felt like to stand on the sidelines and watch one of his dreams slip away made me cry.
Even though I’m a sports-pagan – I know what it feels like to be in a moment in life where you are watching something tragic unfold, and you are powerless to change it. I know what it feels like to have that stinging sense of regret and pain after loss of something that cannot be recovered.
And I know what it feels like when in the midst of that darkness you hear words coming out of your mouth about trusting God, and you believe them.