Max Lucado is one of the leading inspirational authors in the United States. His newest book, Glory Days, is based on the Old Testament book of Joshua. Glory Days explores the idea that, like the Israelites in the Old Testament, God has a promised land for all of us to conquer and inhabit.
In this discussion, Lucado shares ways that God's promises can encourage Christians through the unique challenges of parenthood.
You just became a grandfather for the first time. Congratulations! What kind of a grandparent do you hope to be?
Lucado: Oh, I'm going to spoil that little girl! My goal is that every time she sees me, she knows that she's going to get something good to eat, go somewhere to play, or have a book to read. I love it! My wife and I have only been grandparents for about six weeks, but it's everything everybody said it would be.
Over the years, so many parents and children have enjoyed your children's book/video characters, such as Hermie and Flo. Do you have any plans to write more children's materials anytime soon?
Lucado: There's a great place for good Christian children's books. After the upcoming projects I'm working on, I'd like to turn my attention back to children's books. Maybe with a granddaughter I'll have more inspiration and new ideas.
You are greatly admired and inspiring to so many. What authors have inspired you?
Lucado: Through the years, I have always enjoyed anything Chuck Swindoll has written. When I first got into writing 30 years ago, Chuck's books really modeled a style of writing that I thought was accessible to people and yet still biblical. I wanted to do that. I didn't want to just write stories that were entertaining. Nor did I want to be so scholarly that people couldn't digest it. I can't say that I've read everything that he's ever written, but almost everything!
Glory Days is based on the book of Joshua. You say that Joshua is your favorite book in the Bible. Why?
Lucado: It's such a unique story. It wasn't always my favorite book, by the way. Only about four or five years ago did I realize that this book covers a seven-year period in the history of ancient Israel in which they literally went undefeated. They did have one setback, but outside of that, they defeated over 30 kings. They recaptured the Promised Land. They did what their ancestors said they could not.
Remember, their ancestors went into the Promised Land to spy it out and said, "It's too big; we can't do it!" So these people did what their parents and grandparents could not do.
For seven years they could not be stopped. I have found this to be a great imagery and analogy for the Christian life. As Christians, we have the same images. We've come out of Egypt (been saved) we've crossed over, and Jesus Christ is our Moses and our Joshua.
The Promised Land, for many people, though, is something that's far off in the future. People are saved, but they don't feel victory. They feel like they're in a wilderness and they're wandering. And so this book of Joshua gives us a picture of how we can come out of the wilderness in our own spiritual lives and enter into a season of victory.
Parents of young children are often riddled with the stress of balancing family, career, and life in general. They think of their "glory days" as being far behind them. How can this book give them a new perspective?
Lucado: Yes, people see it as far behind them, or they see it as something way ahead of them. I believe all of us can fall victim to that mentality. But the great promise of Scripture is that every day is a day that's worth rejoicing in.
The Scripture says, "This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it" (Psalm 118:24).
Glory days are days that can happen right now. The key is understanding some basic principles that don't just apply to any one season of life but transcend all seasons of life — not allowing our circumstances to define our outlook on life, but allowing what God's Word says about life to define that outlook.
To some, this concept may seem overly optimistic. How can parents deal with the unique, sometimes heartbreaking, struggles they face?
Lucado: When troubles come our way, we can be stressed and upset, or we can trust God. Caleb could have cursed God. He didn't deserve the wilderness. He had to put his dreams on hold for four decades. Still he didn't complain or grow sour.
You'll always face problems. When you experience hard times, immerse your mind in God thoughts. Turn a deaf ear to doubters. Set your mind on a holy cause. Once you find your mountain, no giant will stop you, no age will disqualify you, and no problem will defeat you.
If I'm a young mom or young dad, I can find a great source of strength. God has promised that He will help me to be the mom or dad that He wants me to be. He has promised to be with me every step of the way. He has promised that He will never leave me or forsake me. These are wonderful promises that I can learn to trust and build a life on.
In our lives, we all experience enlightenment and inspiration from the Bible and from Christian books and materials such as Glory Days. But it's sometimes a struggle to actually apply the principles to our lives, to put them into practice. Any advice on how to take the contents of this book (and the Bible it's based on) and let them truly change us for the better?
Lucado: Engage with the Bible. Meditate on it day and night. Think and rethink about God's Word. Let it be your guide. Make it your go-to book for questions. Let it be the ultimate authority in your life.
Glory Days requires an ongoing trust in God's Word. Wilderness people trust Scripture just enough to escape Egypt. Canaan-dwellers, on the other hand, make the Bible their go-to book for life.