Yesterday I wrote about Lent, about how it is “marked by deepening realism about the cost of discipleship.”Â Today I want to tell you about a book.Â A love story, marked by a deep realism about the cost of being a conduit of the love of God.
This isn’t your boy meets girl love story, this is a story of God’s never-stopping, never-giving-up mission to reach all nations, tribes and tongues with His salvation.Â This is a story of real love, the kind that knows unspeakable pain, deep brokenness, struggle and surrender.Â This is the story of a ripping away of that was good to bring about that which is eternally valuable.
Rich Mullins, in the Liturgy, Legacy and Ragamuffin Band videos said,
“Weâ€¦interpret love, when we read it in the Bible, we think of it as being the kind of love that we see in movies and love that we read in, ah, dumb novels.Â The love of God is most expressed in the death of Christ which was a very violent act on the part of mankind.Â It was not a pretty sight. But I donâ€™t think anything less dramatic could even begin to express the intensity of Godâ€™s love for us.”
This is why I call this book a love story.Â Like the story of God’s love for us it’s a story of suffering.Â It’s a story of pain.Â It’s a story of hope.Â There is no greater love than to lay down your life, to walk with Christ in His death to, as Paul puts it, “attain to the resurrection.”Â In yielding, surrendering to know God in the middle of the painful love story that He is weaving, we gain a greater understanding of what it means to really be the beloved of God.Â In yielding, we find resurrection from the bondage of self and discover the cost and the joy of being transformed the image of a God who paid an unimaginable price to give us life.
“Beloved, love these people.Â Teach them who I am.”
About the Book:
Lord, this was not how it was supposed to end.
Allison Carter had dedicated her life to being a missionary in the jungles of Peru. Now she was being dragged into an unknown future by the very people she had come to reach.
They had attacked without warning or provocation. With her infant son in her arms and her husband, Eric, lying face down with an arrow in his back, death seemed preferable to captivity in a primitive tribe, with customs and mindsets alien to her own. But Allison had to stay alive–if only to protect Isaac–to raise him to fear the one true God …
…Â that same God who had allowed her to suffer so much?
Stubborn as she was in resisting her abusive captors, Allison’s greatest battle was not with them, but with the God she thought she knew.
Why did He not rescue her? Where was He in her suffering?
Â Book Details:
|Company||PIONEERS Bottomline Media|
|Amazon||$10.00 (Sale Price)|
|GoodReads Giveaway||Until Feb. 21st|
|Thank You||Â I received a free copy of this book for review.|
About the Author:
Dalaina May lives with her husband, Dan, and their four rowdy boys in the jungles of Peru, where they serve on a church-planting team among the Caquinte tribe. Dalaina spends most of her time dragging her children out of trees, embarrassing herself in front of her neighbors, and blogging about her familyâ€™s life and ministry at DanandDalaina.com.Â When she has a free moment, she appreciates good sushi and a back rub.
My thoughts (continued)
I couldn’t put it down.
I was moved by this book.Â Perhaps, because it speaks to that place in my heart where I know that I have so often missed the mark in my relationship with God.Â Too often I forget that following Christ is a call to come and die to self so that I might live to God.Â I look at God and instead of believing that He is good at all times and in all circumstances I ask “What good is He to me?”
I’ll admit that I spent years as a child of God never counting the cost.Â Even now it’s an easy trap to fall into, to give only what is comfortable (enter my Lenton struggle).Â But I want, I long, to know God.Â And I long for that more than any other thing.
The amazing thing is that Jesus said that those persecuted for His Name are blessed.
I saw those blessings in this story.Â The blessing of knowing God,Â knowing the at-all-costs love of God and the blessing of the kingdom where Christ rules in hearts so that the love of God triumphs over evil.
This book drew me in.Â It captivated.Â Not that this story was easy reading.Â It wasn’t.Â I quickly forgot that I was reading a novel for it felt so much more like a biography.Â As I turned the pages it didn’t feel like fiction and I could put myself in Allison’s shoes all too easily.Â I knew her pain and her rebellion.Â I tasted her tears.
But the hope, oh the hope of one who is surrendered, one who learns to love with the love of Christ.Â Now that makes a story worth telling.