"Taste and see that the Lord is good," writes the Psalmist. Chris Tomlinson gives this verse twenty-first century context in his first book, Crave; Wanting So Much More of God.
Uncomfortable with comfortable. Rather than craving comfort, the author wants to crave more of God; to press in deeper. But with this desire comes trepidation. "It is a terrifying thing to desire submission to a mysteriously unpredictable God who delights in leading people in ways that upend the world."
In the chapter called Comfort, Tomlinson writes about the compelling yet dread-laden sense that he needed to get busy talking to people about God. But twin fears of looking like a weirdo and rejection filled him with anxiety. Since misery loves company, he recruited a handful of friends to join him in an evangelism foray at a fashionable, high traffic outdoor shopping area. They arranged some folding chairs in a circle and hung a placard inviting people to "Ask anything about God." They felt like they were heading straight down the road to becoming weirdos, but found that people were genuinely interested in talking about God. It was a top shelf topic for more people than they realized. They engaged in awesome conversations that mined well beneath surface level conversation. And the small band of evangelists found it incredibly satisfying and comforting to talk about and point people to God. Tomlinson sensed the pleasure of the Lord.
This kind of comfort is sadly unavailable to those who refuse to leave the zones of comfort they've staked out. Comfort flows from God only when we obey. This is what we're built to crave. Obedience puts us on a path of discovery.
I enjoy Tomlinson's honesty about himself. Quite frankly, he was honest about me and probably honest about you.
I also enjoyed his approach to his topics. He tells stories. He's a character in his story but God is the star. And God is the teacher always helping the author (and reader) to find rewards in obedience. Actually the tasks seem kind of small as you read about them. But if you put yourself in the author's shoes - his story telling makes it really easy for you to project yourself into the narrative - you see that the obedience isn't that easy. And the rewards far outweigh the obedience. That's the lesson learned about obedience in Tomlinson's book; it seems hard because we crave the opposite of God's will. The rewards can only be sampled on the other side of obedience.
Tomlinson wrote this book for regular Christians; regular people who are probably not on the wrong track, but they are living the Christian life going through the motions; stuck in a regular routine. Maybe they are on the wrong track. Well, then, what is it you crave? What do you want to crave? If the answer is "more of God," pick up this book and get back on track. If your answer is "more of the things that fill my life with comfort," then you, too, should pick up this book. There's a wonderful adjustment that needs to be made.
Harvest House Publishers provided me with two copies of this book; one for me to read and review, and one to give away. My copy is all dog-eared and marked up. But I have a nice new copy for anyone in the Broward or Palm Beach county areas willing to buy me a cup of coffee at a nearby Starbucks. Be the first to leave me a comment, and we can set up a meet where we'll slurp coffee and you get a book.
Purchase this book