Self-Help Or Hope?

Someone asked the other day if RELENTLESS GRACE is a self-help book.

I laughed. In hindsight, that probably wasn’t the most sensitive response. I knew what he meant, but I chuckled at the notion that I somehow “helped myself” through the darkness of that horrible experience.

RELENTLESS GRACE isn’t a story of self-help, it’s a story of hope.

Last week I described how God used my first handcycle ride to alter the entire course of my life, how a 2-block struggle led to a 1500-mile ride and eventually to the FREEDOM TOUR. A friend replied, “Yeah, but you took the first step. You made the choice to get on the bike and start moving.”

I do believe in personal responsibility. We can’t sit with our mouths open and then blame our hunger on God’s lack of provision. He expects us to do what we can, where we are, with what we have. At the FREEDOM TOUR we say:

There’s no limit to what can be accomplished by a group of committed, passionate people when they work together and trust God for the outcome.

We’re responsible for the work – not for the outcome. The self-help myth lures us into the dangerous territory of believing we can determine future results.

I couldn’t see the story of RELENTLESS GRACE as it occurred. I thought I was mired in hopeless darkness. I thought some friends randomly coerced me into that first bike ride.

I didn’t see God patiently, faithfully weaving a tapestry, sending people into my life at strategic points, using their encouragement and my efforts to guide me on a path I couldn’t possibly have created, determined, or predicted.

I don’t know how that works, and I’m okay with the mystery.

We’re gearing up for the sixth edition of the FREEDOM TOUR. Every year’s been unique, unexpected, and remarkable, but it’s so tempting to want predictability, to know what’s coming, to exchange potential magical uncertainty for routine and status quo. Doesn’t matter how often God’s faithful, it’s hard to trust that He’s got it covered this time.

That’s hope – moving forward with the confident expectation that God is faithful. Hope, like nearly everything else that matters, is hard, but without it we’re on our own.

HOPE changes what’s possible.

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