Tuesday, February 27, 2018

A Passionate Hope by Jill Eileen Smith - REVIEWED

About the Book:
Can one woman's prayers change the world?

Hannah and her husband, Elkanah, share a deep and abiding love for each other, for their God, and for His tabernacle at Shiloh. Greatly disturbed by the corruption of the priests, they long for restoration and pray for a deliverer. But nothing changes as the years pass. Years that also reveal Hannah to be barren.

Pressured by his family to take another wife, Elkanah marries Peninnah, who quickly begins to bear children. Disgraced and taunted by her husband's new wife, Hannah turns again to prayers that seem doomed to go unanswered. Do her devotion and kindness in the face of Peninnah's cruelty count for nothing? Will God remain silent and indifferent to her pleas?

Travel back to the dusty streets of Shiloh with an expert guide as Jill Eileen Smith brings to life a beloved story of hope, patience, and deliverance that shows that even the most broken of relationships can be restored.

My Thoughts:
“…God uses us in different ways to accomplish His will.”  (p. 357)

If, at any point in the future, I am feeling useless, unimportant or not needed, I’m going to pick up this book and be reminded of God’s mercy and grace!  I’ve said this about books over my years of blogging, but I am adamant when I say, this book has been a divine God appointment in my life, for such a time as this!!  I’ve struggled to find time to read this book, and grew frustrated when it seemed I was delayed, yet again.  Now,  I understand why God wanted me to read the final chapters of this book today – He knew I needed to hear the perspective from women of the Bible who waited and longed for things that seemed out of their reach.

God’s reach is NEVER limited – PRAISE HIM!!!  Hannah’s faith wavered in the face of her husband’s second wife’s fertility.  Being barren was a burden that Hannah carried for years!  Yet, even before she conceived her first born son, Samuel, she’d already given him to God.  The author does a masterful job at displaying all of the difficult and complex emotions that Hannah experienced along her life journey.  I almost felt she’d be practicing for the day she would leave Samson at the temple all of those years that she had daily placed her trust in God for children that it seemed she would never have.  Hers was a daily faith that withstood years of testing!

By the time I reached the end of this novel, my heart was simply aching with emotion!  I had cried and laughed, been angry and afraid…my emotions had run the gamut!  I can honestly say that this book left me full, challenged and strengthened in my own faith journey.  Empty nesting, watching adult children struggle, so many things going on in my own personal journey – and then I collide with Hannah’s steadfast faith, and my hope is renewed!  This is a masterfully told, beautiful story of God’s AMAZING GRACE for us all!!  Rejoicing that this book was in my life today!!

About the Author:
Jill Eileen Smith is the bestselling and award-winning author of the Wives of King David, the Wives of the Patriarchs, the Loves of King Solomon, and the Daughters of the Promised Land series. Her research into the lives of biblical women has taken her from the Bible to Israel, and she particularly enjoys learning how women lived in Old Testament times. Jill lives with her family in southeast Michigan. Learn more at www.jilleileensmith.com.

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