Over the last several weeks I’ve been putting the finishing touches on my new book entitled, Stronger, which is scheduled to be released this fall. I realize the title might be a bit misleading. After all, it’s not a workout manual, a primer on pumping iron, or getting fabulous abs of steel. While I do have a treadmill in the basement and believe in physical fitness, the idea here has to do with building strength of character.
Specifically, instead of being crushed by the hurdles of life that inevitably come, I want to get a better grasp on what God is up to in my life when I face resistance or pain or trial or even persecution—although that’s rare here in the United States. I wrote this book to explore what real strength is, what it isn’t, and what God has to say about true strength.
I also explored ways in which I might more quickly embrace hardship so that I can freely allow God to leverage my adversity. Why? Because my life really isn’t about me—it’s about Him.
I have the opportunity to make a brief appearance on the stage of history, but ultimately it’s His story. I know part of God’s loving purpose for you and for me is to make us stronger people of faith which, in turn, advances His divine master plan.
I’m at a place in my life where I long deeply to understand and participate in the larger picture that God is painting. I’ve come to see that, more often than not, I am most usable when I’m weak, broken, powerless—not some sort of spiritual Rambo. It’s what Paul, a follower of Jesus, was getting at in his message to the members of the fledgling Corinthian church: “For when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Corinthians 12:10).
Whether it’s a life-or-death crisis, or the challenge of simply getting through another day, sooner or later all of us confront the undesired sense of being powerless, worthless, feeble, disabled, and dependent on others. Take Drew Brees, this year’s Super Bowl winning quarterback. To watch him in action it’d be tempting to think he never faced hardship. Far from it. Throughout his career he experienced setbacks and major hurdles.
Just five years ago, for instance, Drew experienced a potentially career-ending shoulder injury in a match up with the Denver Broncos. While his body was rattled to the breaking point, Drew’s faith remained strong.
Drew told Sports Spectrum magazine, “God puts us in positions, all the time, for a reason. You can say, ‘Why is this happening to me?’ But you have to understand that it’s happening for a reason, and God is doing it to strengthen you.”
That, in a nutshell, is why I wrote Stronger.
By the way, my publisher created a number of cover concepts. While I had to choose the book cover just the other day, which one would you have chosen?