Sandra Ardoin @SandraArdoin
I read little non-fiction. Unless it’s the Bible, a blog of interest, or short print article about writing or gardening, my nose will be in a work of fiction. However, I recently read Treasures of Hope. In the spirit of truth and enlightenment, it was a friend’s debut book, so of course, I wanted to read it. And I’m glad I did.
The book is classified as a memoir, but I would put it in any category that includes encouragement, hope, praise, joy, spiritual freedom. It addresses so much more than one person’s story.
While the book comes from the destructive after-effects of Gail’s physical abuse as a child, she doesn’t dwell on the experience, but on what she learned as a result of it—the treasures God provided through his Word. It has something to say to everyone, something that applies to every life, whether touched by deep tragedy or not.
At one point or another, we all go through situations that affect our self-esteem and our faith. It doesn’t need to be what others would consider a horrific experience. It’s horrific to us. Things happen that result in fear, discouragement, anger, depression. Those emotions run deep enough to shape our outlook and existence. The author used the stories of women in the Bible to come to terms with her own issues and includes them to show the rest of us how we can do the same. We all need to discover who we are in God’s sight.
While I’ve never been in her situation, I did find takeaways for myself. The part that touched me most was the chapter on “Discovering the Courage Jewel.” I guess it’s because it’s my theme for this year. In it, she talks about Rahab’s efforts to help the Israelites conquer Jericho. It took courage on Rahab’s part to help the spies. How courageous am I? Am I willing to hand everything over to God? To trust His plan? Or will I decide it could be too costly?
Frankly, I don’t think I can put it more succinctly than Gail Johnson:
A jewel is a lesson learned—a treasure of hope.
The hotter the flame, the more billiant it shines.
Learn to dance in the fire, beloved.
There are review questions in the back, but the end of each chapter contains its own section of prayer and reflection, as well as recommended reading for further insight and suggestions for significant songs to listen to.
I have no affiliation with this book other than a mention in the acknowledgments. (Thank you, Gail.) But I highly recommend reading Treasures of Hope, especially if you’re struggling with a current or past issue that threatens to cripple your future.
Who is the Biblical figure you relate to most at this time in your life? What can you learn from their experience?
**An FYI, Gail Johnson will be on the blog next month to talk about courage.**