Wake up. Start coffee. Get the kids up. Fix breakfast. See your husband off. Supervise teeth brushing, comb hair, and plant kisses. Load the van and bring the kids to school or see them off at the bus stop. Buy groceries. Pay bills. Drive to work and drive home. Do laundry. Cook dinner. Do Bible study. Answer emails. Pray and go to bed. Repeat.
And maybe, just maybe, you’ll catch a glimpse of God today.
“A Sudden Glory” by Sharon Jaynes is one of the best and most moving books I’ve read in a long time. She shares her life struggles in teaching the reader how to see those special moments of God’s touch in our everyday life. We all have “dry” times in our life, when God seems so far away. But really, He has not moved, we are just either not seeing clearly or we’ve moved.
The daily drag of life can sometimes weigh us down. More than that, it can blind us to God’s glory. That’s what Sharon Jaynes is writing about in this book–the reminder to be alert for God, to press in to Him and long for His presence.
Even when we’re doing everything right, we can still miss out on the intimacy and elaborate grace God intends for us. We long for something more; maybe it’s a need we can’t even identify, but we still we feel it. So we DO what we are supposed to do. Yet, she writes: “Rather than ask God what he wants from us, we need to ask Him what He wants for us.”
“A Sudden Glory” is a beautiful, inspiring, challenging, encouraging and very real book, perfect for the individual to read and for a group setting (study guide included). She shares out of her own personal pain, the times she was angry at God and the times when His plans weren’t her own. This openness makes her writing even more compelling because life doesn’t always go how any of us expect. Most of us have been there, crying, disappointed, upset with God, desperately hurting, and we need the testimony of someone who’s walked through that and seen God glorified.
Sharon’s style of writing is fabulous…very conversational – like sitting at the kitchen table with a special friend, chatting about the things of life while sipping on Lattes. Every page of the book contains rich nuggets that would make wonderful teaching moments or even to expand on and make into sermons.
Multiple messages have been spoken regarding this topic and those I’ve heard have been frustrating simplistic and superficial. My relationship with God is neither. Even those of us walking with Jesus so closely, though, will still feel a longing for more, a sense of incompleteness. It’s not fair to the Christ-follower when pastors and teachers ignore that, giving pat answers, clichéd lessons, and leaving us all unsatisfied as to why we’re still longing when we’ve done everything they’ve said.
The fact is that as long as we are on this side of heaven, we will never be truly filled. The closer we walk with God, the more satisfied we will be, but the more we will be reminded of the beauty of heaven when nothing will cloud our vision, when nothing remains hidden or unanswered. When we see Jesus face to face, that’s when our deepest longings will truly be satisfied. Sharon Jaynes avoids all of the pitfalls of over-simplification here and gives us the hope of heaven.
She also gives us hope for the meantime while we wait here in this earthly place. Jesus came so that we could walk with God rather than be separated by this vast emptiness due to our sinfulness. We live in obedience, in worship, in gratitude, in communion with our God and He draws us close, giving us glimpses of heaven—glimpses of His glory. That’s how He responds to our ache for something more and it’s glorious.
Included in this book is a study guide for use with a small group or individually. I would highly recommend going through the study guide, not just to get the most from this book, but to go deeper in your understanding of Jesus and his love. That guide, in turn, will enhance and deepen your relationship with Him.
I’m part of a new church plant in Minnesota and this book will definitely be going into my personal library. It would be a great addition to our women’s ministry material!