Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Flee The Night

I read a ton of Christian fiction. And a lot of it is filled with great content. But sometimes, something is just too good to pass up sharing with others. One of my favorite authors always packs amazing stuff into her books. And for some reason, as I was re-reading this book tonight, I was reminded again just how incredible this truly is! So I decided to share it.

"Lacey, in the glove compartment, you'll find my Bible. Can you grab it?"
She gave him a one-eyed frown, then took her feet off the dash and unearthed it. "You going to read as you drive?"
"No, you are. Open it to Psalm 107."
He saw her purse her lips as she turned to the psalm. "Okay. What verse?"
"Just read the whole thing. To yourself."
She gave him a look. "Listen, if you didn't get the message at breakfast, God and I aren't really on speaking terms. "
"Yeah, I picked that up. And I wont to know why."
She shook her head. "If you can't forgive me, how do you expect God to? I can't even forgive myself."
"But John's death was an accident, Lace. God knows that."
"Yeah, and He also knows about the millions of compromises I've made, not counting the bad decisions based on greed or fame or whatever other sin He's warned against." Her voice sounded strained. "I've discovered that it's not the big sins that dig at your soul, but the thousands of tiny, seemingly inconsequential ones that slowly gnaw away at any sense of hope." She looked at him. "I am not going into detail, but you of all people should believe me when I say I'm not a saint."
"Neither am I."
"You're different."
He gave her a hard look. "No, I'm not. Do you seriously believe that in my life of work I haven't made a few compromises? struggled with times when I've killed? fought my own fury for control?"
She clenched her jaw and he could almost see her imagination run behind those pretty eyes. He didn't want to paint too dark a picture for her, but it seemed that she had some squeaky-clean, holier-than-thou voice of him and he wanted to dispel it here and now.
"Believe me, I'm no saint. I'm just... saved. And trying." Right now he was trying with all his man-sized effort, to keep his hands on the steering wheel instead of driving into the ditch and pulling her into his arms. Only that would defeat his prayer to cut her out of his heart. It wasn't lost on him that God was doing just about everything opposite to Micah's prayers. And instead of bringing her to justice, Micah was on the lam right beside her.
So much for being God's man.
Lacey sat beside him, obviously lost in her own thoughts, staring at the Bible.
"Read verse one aloud, Lace," Micah said, suddenly needing God's words like he needed his next breath. He had the passage memorized, had dissected it years ago.
"Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! His faithful love endures forever." She seemed to struggle with the words.
"Okay, now go down to verse ten, I think."
She traced her finger down the page. "Some sat in darkness and deepest gloom, miserable prisoners in chains. They rebelled against the words of God, scorning the counsel of the Most High. That is why He broke them with hard labor; they fell, and no one helped them rise again. "Lord, help!" they cried in their trouble, and He saved them from their distress."
"Stop there."
But she continued:  "He led them from the darkness and deepest gloom; He snapped their chains. Let them praise the Lord for His great love and for all His wonderful deeds to them." Her voice broke on the last word. Micah glanced over at her but her gaze was fixed on the Bible. "For He broke down their prison gates of bronze; He cut apart their bars of iron."
She stopped and silence filled the empty space.
Micah stared ahead, praying for wisdom. This faithless Lacey he hadn't expected. Maybe he thought she'd still be the woman who sparred with him over the gifts of the Spirit, who stood beside him, arms raised in worship at a summer revival camp. He should have guessed that John's self-atonement theology would rub off on her. That years of grieving her mistakes might scalp her faith down to a nub. Still, he hadn't expected the anger, the despair, the cynicism. It hurt him worse than having her tie him up and leave him for the bad guys.
"They rebelled against the words of God...," he started.
"That is why He broke them with hard labor," she finished. "You're trying to make a point here, aren't you? About God letting a person struggle, letting a person drown in darkness."
"O am. You're so sure that God can't be in control of your mistakes. But this verse says that yes, you can make mistakes - free will  and God does put you in chains. It's not about who does the shackling... it's about who does the saving. The people cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and He saved them from t heir distress. Whether we have free will or God has it all planned out, there is only one way to be saved."
She frowned, and he could nearly see her chewing his words in her intelligent mind. "Keep reading. The next passage is about people becoming fools and suffering because of their iniquities. And the next, God stirs the waters, causes the storms, then brings the people to safety. There is constantly the paradox of free will versus an all-sovereign God. And the only answer is - both are right."
"I know it's impossible for our brains to wrap around that. We like to think in linear patterns. Especially people like you and me. We want to solve problems, whittle down the scenarios, and egress without casualties. But we're not going to win this battle. Whenever our confusion and God's Word go toe to toe, God's Word will always win. Because it is from the mind of God. He is light and all knowledge. We see only darkly through the prism of ourselves and our experiences."
They turned off the country road and onto the highway. The sun had dropped below the horizon, and long shadows scraped the road.
"So you and John were right." There was something in her tone that made him smile. A sort of wonder.
He felt it too, a resonating peace knowing that John had a place of purpose in her life. What, Micah didn't want to speculate, but if God could use the last fifteen years and her marriage to John for good..."Yeah, I guess so," Micah agreed.
She closed the Bible, sat back. "I'm hungry.
He stifled a sigh, wishing that she'd allowed God's Word - the only thing that could save and restore her life - to dig deeper, shine light into her dark soul. "We'll stop at the next truck stop."

Book: Flee The Night by Susan May Warren
Genre: Realistic Fiction/Adventure
Target Audience: Adult Women
Subjects: Trust, Truth, Faith, Hope
Summary: What do you do when you're falsely accused of murdering your own husband? The government knows she didn't do it, but the rumor is still there. She isn't sure who did it, but she knows it was a betrayer. She's spent the last seven years running for her life, but now the unthinkable has happened: whoever this betrayer is, he's managed to get her daughter. In desperation, Lacey does the only thing she can think of: she calls upon the man the most certain of her guilt, the man who once loved her.
Micah lost faith in Lacey fifteen years ago when she married his best friend instead of him. Never mind that he pushed her away and never admitted his love. When he finds his best friend in a pool of blood and Lacey right there, he chooses to believe the worst. Yet, something in him won't let go and despite his anger, he comes to her aid.
The betrayer is out there somewhere with precious six-year old Emily. He wants want only Lacey can give - technology that will betray the very country she took an oath to serve.
The clock is racing. Micah has to convince Lacey to trust God and him enough to not become a betrayer. Lacey has to convince Micah she was innocent of her husband's murder.
All the while, their enemy wants both of them destroyed.
Notes: This is a powerful story of a woman so lost in her own guilt and despair that she has abandoned her once strong faith. And it's the story of a man who has spent fifteen years too afraid to declare his love to the woman who holds his heart. It becomes the story of a man choosing to demonstrate his love with his very life and the story of God using that man's words to draw the woman back to Him.
This is the first in the Team Hope series - books focusing on a group of former soldiers and other government workers who now do search and rescue missions but still keep getting entangled with extreme government missions such as fighting terrorists.
Each character has faced an extreme tragedy of some kind in their life and has to fight to keep their faith and trust in God and those who care about them. Team Hope brings not only hope of someone being rescued, but the hope that is found in Christ.
Spiritual Content Recommendation Scale: 5/5
Reviewer: J:-)mi

Romans 15:13 - May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Psalm 33:22 - May your unfailing love be with us, Lord, even as we put our hope in you.