Years ago, when I was in my early twenties, I read a book that so changed my perspective on the Christian life that I was never the same again. It was one of three books that had that kind of impact on me. It is entitled The Divine Romance, by Gene Edwards, and it opened my eyes to what may have transpired between God the Father and Jesus, His Son, when the Father was discussing His plan of redemption with Him. It was written in such a beautifully descriptive manner that it draws the reader in and won’t let her go until the very end – and wonder filled my heart upon reaching the end.
A dear friend of mine recently loaned me another book by this same author, entitled The Birth, to read during this celebratory, though sometimes difficult season of Advent. Once again, this author drew me in with his amazing descriptions of things we cannot see with our natural eyes here on this created planet – angels, conversations between God and the archangels Gabriel and Michael, the Holy Spirit of God overshadowing a young girl and joining with her natural body to conceive the supernatural Son of God, and so much more. I have loved every second of reading it.
It has opened my eyes, again, to the wonders of the spiritual realm and caused me to see the astonishingly unearthly, yet factual story of the immaculate conception and all the events surrounding it. As I was marveling at this spectacle of God’s power, love and compassion toward the human race – His creation – an old and sometimes forgotten truth began to seep into my thoughts, bringing with it an excitement I hadn’t felt in many moons.
“Jesus will return to the earth”, I heard as I was musing on the contents of this book I’ve been reading.
Just like He came some 2000 years ago, in the flesh, born of a woman, but conceived of the Holy Spirit, He will return for His bride and take her home with Him, to be with Him for all of eternity.
Jesus will return to the earth again.
Oh, my goodness, how I often forget this wonderful truth. How I often let myself slide into the hopeless feeling that I am simply awaiting my time to die and go to heaven. Sometimes I long for that day, as it would mean I could see the one child I gave birth to who no longer walks this earth with me.
But there is more to this life than that, especially if you are a believer in Jesus Christ.
In this book I’ve been reading, The Birth, toward the end, when Mary and Joseph are travelling to the temple in Jerusalem to dedicate Jesus at 40 days old, Joseph remembers playing in the temple as a child and seeing an elderly woman who came to the temple so often to pray that some said she practically lived there. This woman was Anna, spoken of in the Book of Luke, and she came to the temple everyday to pray that the promised Messiah would come. When she laid eyes on Jesus on the day of His dedication in the temple, she rejoiced with great joy and told everyone she saw about the promised Messiah, come in the flesh; the day she had been longing for had finally arrived after many years of waiting and praying.
This book prompted me to reread the story of Simeon and Anna in Luke chapter 2, and I am just as awestruck as I was the first few times I read it. What amazing hearts these two had; hearts that yearned to see the promised Messiah, the Christ, the One they had devoted their lives to waiting and praying to come.
I am so convicted by this.
As I read this book and am reminded by the Lord that He will return to the earth, my heart is pricked anew to turn my eyes back to my coming salvation, to long for His return, indeed to begin again to pray for His return.
It will happen, beloved.
He will return to the earth.
And when He does, will he find faith on the earth (Luke 18:8)?
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith – of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire – may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.” 1 Peter 3-9
“The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let the one who hears say, “Come!”
What, you may ask, are the three books that impacted me more than any other and changed my perspective on life?
The Bible, because it teaches me about who God is and who I am to Him.
The Divine Romance, by Gene Edwards, as it opened my eyes to the spiritual realm and the amazing love God has for us, His beloved creation.
Hinds Feet on High Places, by Hannah Hurnard, taught me about the Christian’s journey through this oftentimes difficult life on earth, and opened my eyes to who I am not!