Sunday, December 15, 2013

Surprised by a Book Review

The other evening, I was cleaning out my "pile" in the living room. It's a constant struggle. (Read about how I have tried to solve my problem with a magazine rack here.)

As I attempted to put away the items that had accumulated beside my chair, I came across a book I had received for review. Usually, the books I receive are fiction - but this one was not. It was by Lynn Austin, a best selling author of many Christian novels. However, Pilgrimage was an account of her trip to Israel and the things that she learned there.

I don't know why I was dreading this book. But I decided to read a chapter that night. As I began reading, I easily identified with the "dryness" she seemed to be experiencing in her walk with the Lord. Before I knew it, I had read through half of the book.

Over and over again I found myself agreeing with her statements. I was challenged by the outlook she began to have as her journey through Israel continued.

This book was basically a journal - she began recording what she saw and experienced and how that challenged or changed her relationship with Christ. She had found herself imaging a life that she though would be "God's plan." And then, when God had different ideas, it was so easy for her to become depressed, dry or frustrated.

If you find yourself feeling dry or complacent in your walk with the Lord, I would challenge you to read this book. I find it is so easy for me to be frustrated when life isn't super easy - but as this book reminded me over and over again - it's during those challenging times that we tend to draw closer to Christ.

This book challenged me to have a different outlook during those hard times. I was pleasantly surprised how well I identified with the content of this book.

Here are a few quotes that really challenged me:
 "My imagination is the problem, you see, especially when it collides with God's plan for my life and the lives of my children."

"...I understand that God might want to set me adrift on the high seas to shock me out of my complacency. I've decided to accept the churning waves as an invitation from God to draw closer to Him, to dig deeper into His Word, to seek Him with all my heart and soul and strength. Most of all. to begin to pray to Him in a better way."

"The truth is, I really don't want to walk by faith. Do any of us? I prefer comfort and safety...But who needs God if I have all those things? Israel's downfall didn't come when they were homeless wanderers in the desert, but when they lived in cities where they were self-sufficient and well fed."

I received a complimentary copy of this books from Bethany House Publishers, but I was not otherwise compensated for this review. All writing, thoughts and opinions are my own.

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