To prepare for and celebrate the release of Mistletoe Melody, I have invited several authors to speak on the themes of the novel. Today, I have the privilege to introduce you to a wonderful bible study author, Andrea Thom. Welcome, Andrea.
Pain. It’s the inevitable part of every human storyline that is never scripted into our plans yet always arrives on the stage of our lives anyway. At some point we’ll all taste it – at some point we’ll all attempt to escape it. Pain can startle us out of joy and stifle our perspective. If left unchecked, Christian encouragements can feel like cold platitudes and feelings of overwhelm may trump sound theology.
In Mistletoe Melody, Melody Staff wrestles with the growing chasm between her faith and her feelings. Emotional havoc spins her well-planned life and once-strong faith into confusion, and her family’s well-intentioned support falls short of moving her forward. Melody began to lose – her voice, her ambition, her faith. Yet despite the compounding losses, God was sovereignly orchestrating hidden purposes that lay beyond seen circumstances to unseen glory. Melody’s perspective begins to shift – her hope moves from a drug trial to the Lord, and from requiring fairness to requiring the God who would lead her through it. When her perspective shifts, her behavior quickly follows. Hidden fears turn into public courage, grieving silence turns into hope-filled singing, and cold solitude turns into vulnerable expressions of heartfelt community.
For you and I, how can we shift our perspective from faithlessness to faithfulness when circumstances bite down hard and permanent? When we remove our gaze from ourselves and cast it beyond our feelings and onto Jesus in prayer.
In John 17 we catch a holy glimpse of Jesus praying to His Father before the ultimate brutal climax of His life unfolds.
When Jesus had spoken these words, he lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you, since you have given him authority over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. And this is eternal life, that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do. And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed. (John 17:1-5)
Christ’s agonizing hour had come and He lifts His eyes to pray with heavenly focus – the glory of Himself and the good of His people. In the shadow of the cross, Jesus prayerfully set His heart beyond worldly preference to godly obedience, beyond humiliation to reconciliation, beyond certain death to ultimate victory. When our prayers centre on God’s glory in each ‘hour’ that comes to us, we will be empowered to endure all circumstances because our gaze has been cast beyond earthly things and onto what is glorious. We are not left to human ability to endure. Since Christ modelled a life of continual communion with God, even leading up to His darkest hour, what great hope we have to connect with the same presence and power of God in prayer today!
Lord, cast our hearts beyond what’s temporal to what’s eternal, beyond the rescuing to the Rescuer, and beyond our circumstances to display the radiance of Your glorious character.
Andrea is a regular contributor to HopeStreamRadio and Christian writing publications including The Gospel Coalition Canada.
Information on the first two books of her brand new Bible Study series, Ruth-Redeeming The Darkness and Amos-Come Awake!, can be found here.
Photo credit, Jason Blackey, Unsplash.
Mistletoe Melody can be found at: