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Escape for a Moment in Time
 

When my husband was deployed for a year, I seemed to have more time. Maybe because I couldn’t sleep or maybe because I started a new book at 8 PM when the younger boys were asleep and then I would HAVE to finish the book that night. I finished 3-5 books a week. I found the plot varied, characters changed, and settings changed, but they all seemed to have the same, predictable theme. 

I continued to read because it was an escape--a dream of what I was missing. My husband gone; my teenages boys needing counsel beyond me. The books led me away from my world and into a world that could be fixed in a night. The problems resolved without my acting like a witch. The setting away from the dirt and mud of where we live. But the escape didn’t last and the next day I met with my own problems that could not be fixed by a night, the witch didn’t go away, and the dirt and mud certainly stayed well planted in my house. 

I wonder sometimes whether I should read fiction. I escape to a world where the man reads the woman’s mind. (What man can do that?)  Men understand, and women don’t act like a witch. I escape to the world of make-believe. I begin to believe that life should happen like that. Everything should be understood. All problems are solved. No questions are left unanswered.

Maybe that is why I like the Bible stories so well. They are about real good people who fail, but then God picks them up, dusts them off and makes them try again, but this time following His rules and depending upon Him. I can find hope in that. For when I have tried and failed miserably, I can still have hope that things will end right, the wrong made right, the villain caught, the main character raised to humbly acknowledge his Creator.  The Bible stories give hope, not just because they end well, but because they are TRUE.  They are not just a story of what COULD happen, but what DID happen.

Not only do Bible stories end well, but there is a genre for everyone. Do you love a good romance? Try Ruth or even Hosiah. Do you wish for a good leadership book? Read Daniel. Do you thrive in battle? Read Joshua.  Do you live on fantasy and future times? Read Revelations and Daniel. Are you inspired by biographies? Read the Gospels. Do you wonder how to train your child? Read Proverbs. Do you feel deeply and wish to express yourself? Read the Psalms. Do you hope for a brighter future in spite of the politics of the time? Sympathize with Jeremiah. Are you challenged by mystery? Read Esther. Do you crave action?  Look to the kings as they battled for their kingdoms. Do you just want practical helps for life? Read the Epistles or Proverbs.

Some books of the Bible do not end well. Israel taken captive—end of book. But the complete book does not leave us hanging in despair. We are encouraged by the God Who holds yesterday, today and the future in His Hands and He orchestrates the music to a fine tuned melody of His choosing. I can find hope, peace and escape in that. He can take my unsolvable problems, my witch actions, and my dirt and mud and complete His narration. I won’t have to escape, I just need to surrender. Then I will find the truth behind the words, “He has done everything well.” (Mark 7:37)

I think that I will still be drawn to read fiction, but the Truth holds me captive and yet sets me free. 

What genre did I forget? Where can it be found in the Bible?  What other book covers it all and is true? Why do you read fiction? What might you be escaping from?


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Author of Biblical fiction, married to my best friend, and challenged by eight sons’ growing pains as I write about what matters.

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