The last couple of books I’ve read “for fun” have been pretty heady stuff. Great reads, but I was ready for something light that I could read while on the treadmill, not worrying about having to take notes and keep track of intricate plot lines. I certainly did not want to read a book that I would not being able to put down before getting to “The End.”
So I picked up Faith, Hope and Love, described as an inspirational romance. A nice Christian chick lit, I thought. I had read a previous book by Jordan, Marrying Kate and it was just the kind of book I had in mind to read now. (Here’s my review of Marrying Kate from 2013.)
Faith, Hope & Love is the story of happily-married Cassie and Quinn, young missionaries in Columbia. The story begins dramatically with Quinn’s kidnapping, before Cassie has the chance to share the news of her pregnancy. The story then takes up with Cassie and their six-year old daughter learning of Quinn’s release. The book focuses on the reunion, happiness threatened by the emotional scars Quinn carries from his imprisonment, the anger he feels toward God and Cassie’s internal conflict over her desire to reunite her family or release Quinn, no longer the same man, from their marriage.
This book wasn’t just a light read. I dug into the Kleenex box more often than I expected and found myself thinking about this book even when I was forced to put it down and focus on other things, such as, well, life.
Jordan did a wonderful job fleshing out the characters and giving her readers insight into the emotional upheaval that involve people whose lives have been torn apart . She also did a good job exploring the way people of faith either lean into their faith for strength or abandon it entirely. The novel was well-structured and felt realistic in the setting, relationships and outcomes.
If you’re looking for a light read, this may not be it. If, however, you’re looking for a book to curl up with for a long night of sobbing into soggy Kleenex…enjoy. I did.
Twelve words spoken by Joshua are recorded in this verse. They hold so much meaning:
1. We are to consecrate ourselves.
The word consecrate means to make or declare sacred; to set apart or dedicate to the service of God. Only God can make us holy. Without Him we are merely unworthy, lost, incomplete. But we can consecrate ourselves to Him. We can set ourselves apart (from society, from evil, from ourselves) and dedicate our lives to His service.
2. We have a future.
The word tomorrow holds promise for our future. Even better, ours is a future based on God and His good plan. In our future, God will do for us, be for us, help us, strengthen us, direct us, love us and forgive us. And use us for His good purpose.
Scripture doesn’t promise us a certain number of days to live on this earth. But even if our earthly life ends today, because of Jesus’ salvation, we still have the promise of tomorrow and eternity with Him.
3. God will do amazing things.
God is still in the process of performing miracles. He is still alive and at work. Our job is to allow Him and, when appropriate, to assist in whatever He is doing. Our job is also to watch for what He is doing…and prepare to be amazed.
4. God is among us.
The word Emanuel means “God is with us.” Jesus left the glory of heaven, came to earth and became God with us, in human form. Even after Jesus returned to heaven, God has remained with us in the form of His Holy Spirit—the third part of the Trinity. He is with us. And among us. As promised.
The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth (John 1:14)
I will walk among you and be your God, and you will be my people. (Leviticus 26:12)
Joshua spoke 12 words in chapter 3 verse 5. Those twelve words contain at least four lessons for us. The verse is one more example of the richness of Scripture. One more example of how—when we meditate on Scripture—we understand how rich it is and how it can enable us to have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ (Ephesians 3:18).