I am currently sheltering in place with Mom. We live in a county that has as of today not been affected by the medical effects of COVID-19, but we have certainly seen the other effects.
It has been over a week since I saw my granddaughters whom I normally babysit. This is, though, a perfect time for writing, and I did so on Monday, but hardly any since then. As a creature of habit, if the day doesn’t start out exactly as I plan, I find my course thrown off for the entire day – or week (one of the worst problems with autism as far as I’m concerned).
A few weeks ago, I received a fiction catalog from Christian Books. Mom found some books in it she liked and circled them. I liked them all, too, so I ordered them. At the time, COVID-19 was just a shadowy specter looming on the horizon.
Over a week into the home stay, the shipment of books arrived.
I was drawn to first read “The Time of Jacob’s Trouble” by Donna Van Liere.
It was all but unputdownable. Only the circumstances of life enabled me to set it aside, and I finished it just an hour or so ago.
Not knowing the book’s format until completing chapter 4, I hadn’t realized the book was 2/3 fiction and 1/3 Bible teaching by a learned scholar of Biblical prophecy.
The novel is a fictional portrayal of a group of people who have “lived” through the rapture of the church and the immediate breakdown of the society they had previously known. America’s larger cities are decimated. Two of the principal characters live in NYC, and the book follows them as they struggle to survive and acclimate to their “new normal”.
One of these New Yorkers is a young Jewish man who adheres strictly to the faith of his family. He is at a funeral when he witnesses graves bursting open. Shortly thereafter he is visited by Jesus in a manner similar to Jesus visiting Paul on the road to Damascus. He becomes a Messianic Jew and learns he is one of the 144,000 witnesses spoken of in Revelation 7:4-8.
Another of these 144,000 witnesses is living in Israel. He also is a young devout Jewish man who comes to saving faith through the words of a man on the street whom no one but he can see.
For me, this was the perfect time to read such a novel. One of the principal characters is searching through a raptured friend’s house to find supplies for herself and other post-rapture believers, most of whom are children. As she did so, I found myself asking her “Why are you touching everything? Aren’t you worried about catching it?”
There is no virus in the book, only violence and depravity since, as the author explains, what (2 Thessalonians 2:6) was holding back the entrance of the antichrist – the raptured believers (or the church) – is gone, leaving behind those who follow their own badly skewed moral code.
Although the book is not advertised as a Bible study, I feel benefit would be derived by going back and looking at the scriptures (there are many) the author references both in the novel and in the Biblical explanations in the back of the book. Isn’t that the mark of a truly exceptional book – that it entices the reader to search the scriptures for herself?
Aside from its educational benefit, this is a fantastic book, the kind I wishes would not end! Unfortunately, it is the first in a series of 3, the publication date is 2020, and the second installment isn’t to be released until 2021.
I will be waiting. The rest of you, be sure and check out this well-written and -researched and timely book.
As a conclusion to this blog post, many of you are no doubt living in fear or at least with fear being a frequent visitor to your home
Remember fear is not of God. If it is not of God, then it must be coming from somewhere else. The somewhere else could include the following: the media (including all your forms of social media), your own mind, or the devil who is the enemy of your soul. If God wants you to trust, satan wants the opposite, for you to live in fear.
Christians are not immune to this attack; therefore, we must gird up the loins of our mind (1 Peter 1:19) for that is where the war is waged.
Here are some ways you might do this: If you are feeling afraid, lean more fully into God’s arms (Deuteronomy 33:27) and rest your soul more securely in Your Branch (John 15:1-17). Read Psalm 139 in the Passion Translation (you can google it). Aside from Romans 8, that chapter has become my favorite. Read it now, ingest it into your being; your fear will flee. God bless you, dear reader.