June 17, 2011

A Voice In The Wind

Filed under: Idle Ramblings — pearsey @ 9:41 pm

A friend loaned me a book a couple of months ago, A Voice In The Wind by Francine Rivers. When I saw the size of it, I thought there’s no way I’m going to get this read anytime soon! But seeing as it came so highly recommended, I thought I’d give it a go. Well, I think about 2 or 3 chapters in and I was hooked! I couldn’t put it down. The book is set in Roman times, not long after the crucifixion of Jesus on the cross. The story weaves between Hadassah, the young slave captured by the Romans in Jerusalem and Atretes, the German warrior, captured by the Romans in Germania. Both end up in Rome, taking different journeys to get there. Atretes is forced to become a Roman gladiator, while Hadassah is sold to a family to be a slave for Julia, the daughter of Phoebe and Decimus, and Marcus her brother.

Rivers makes all the characters come alive, the main ones being Atretes, Marcus, Julia, Phoebe and Decimus, but the one I most identified with was Hadassah. Hadassah was captured when her family went back to Jerusalem around the time of the passover feast. Her father had been raised from the dead by Jesus and every year, faithfully went back to Jerusalem to proclaim the gospel of Jesus. He taught Hadassah the scriptures and when she was captured, the only thing she had to hold onto was what her Father had taught her. As she faithfully serves Julia, Marcus, Pheobe and Decimus, we get to see how a true attitude of servanthood should be outworked. Hadassah had ever reason to be bitter – she had no freedom, was treated with contempt and scorn by those she served and could literally be put to death at a single command from her master. But yet she continued to serve with a true love for those she served.

Hadassah drew her strength from her relationship with God. Every night she would go to the garden and spend time in prayer for those she was serving and time in prayer seeking the presence of God. Despite her difficult oppressive circumstances, she did not compromise what she believed in.

The one thing Hadassah struggled with though, was the desire to share the gospel of Jesus with those she loved and served. She longed to be able to share about where her strength, love, joy, peace and patience came from, but yet never seemed to find the words and have the courage to share the gospel when she was asked. As the story develops I identified with the anguish she felt as she longed to share, but yet the fear that rose up and stopped her. Now I’m not likely to be put to death for sharing the gospel when I’m asked, unlike Hadassah who could be put to death for daring to suggest that somebody should worship someone other than the Roman gods. But like Hadassah, I face the struggle of desire to share and the fear of sharing. It greatly encouraged me to read how Hadassah overcame her fear and reached a place of complete surrender to God, where she was willing to stand for, and proclaim, her faith in the God who created the universe, no matter what the outcome was.

Anyway, I can highly recommend this book. Don’t get put off by the fact that it’s over 500 pages long! Get into and give it a read!


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