The Restoration series by Terri Blackstock include the following books that are a must-read:

  1. Last Light, 2. Night Light, 3. True Light, and 4.  Dawns Light

Terri Blackstock weaves masterful what-if novels in which global catastrophe reveals the darkness in human hearts and lights the way to restoration for a self-centered world. Near the end of Dawns Light, one of the characters made the following statement:

“Though he hated what the Pulses had done to society, he had to admit that he loved what they had done to the family.  The lack of technology had drawn them all closer.  Instead of leading separate lives, watching television in their bedrooms, playing video games and staring at computer screens, they gathered each night in the same room.  Communication in the form of telephones and email were dead.  But it felt as if communication in his family had blossomed to life.  It was moving to see the kids working hard at their own jobs and giving their pay to the family.  A year ago, the idea of helping support their family would have been laughable.  In a family setting, laughter and communication became as easy as breathing.” 

Terri Blackstock has an amazing gift for writing and she has written the following statements  regarding her restoration series:

“Sometimes silence is worse than anything.  When we pray, we hope that God will give us a quick yes or no, and we dread the silence He gives us as we wait.  In a lot of cases, God’s answer to a prayer might just be “maybe later.”  Wasn’t that how He worked?  Intricately weaving a web of events throughout their lives, intersecting them with others, connecting the dots in a way that no genius ever could.  God got our attention with the Pulses.  He had to empty our hands so we could finally reach for Him.  And then He gave us more than we had before.  Matthew 5:4:  “Your blessed when you feel you’ve lost what is most dear to you.  Only then can you be embraced by the One most dear to you.”

Today I ran across a verse in Isaiah 26 that jumped out at me.  It says, “For when the earth experiences your judgments the inhabitants of the world learn righteousness” (v.9b).  As I’ve worked my way through this series, I’ve asked the question over and over:  What might God do to get our nation’s attention in order to bring righteousness?  Will he use a supernova that knocks out all our technology?  Will he use E-bombs, nuclear weapons, terrorist attacks?  Or hurricanes, tornadoes, fires, tsunamis, earthquakes?  We know that none of this is outside his control or ability, and it’s not outside his sovereignty.  He holds the world in his hand and wants what’s best for us.  “In their affliction they will earnestly seek Me,” the Lord says in Hosea 5:15.

In our narcissistic society, we can’t quite grasp why seeking him is good for us.  Those who want life to be all about them can’t understand why God wants it to be all about him.  The truth is, God knows that when we focus on him as the Lord of our lives—not on some generic “higher power,” and certainly not on ourselves—we will live safer, more peaceful lives.  “Then your light will break out like the dawn, and your recovery will speedily spring forth; and your righteousness will go before you; the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard…And the Lord will continually guide you, and satisfy your desire in scorched places, and give strength to your bones; and you will be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water whose waters do not fail” (Isaiah 58:8, 11). 

We squabble over whether Christ’s name can be proclaimed in public, to the point that the words “Merry Christmas” have become offensive to many.  As a society, we’ve tried to erase the memory of our history and the Christian heritage that got us here, as well as the goodness of our God in blessing us so richly.  We’ve allowed the singular voices in courthouses to determine how we acknowledge our Lord as a nation.  So, I ask you.  What will God have to do to our country to get our attention?  How will he choose to refine us, so that we’ll finally seek him?

If you’re a Christian, realize the impact that your witness has on those around you.  Not only could it save their souls, but it could save our nation.  Imagine if every Christian lived a life like Christ.  Imagine if we walked in light of the Great Commission.  Wouldn’t those unbelievers around us begin to seek him?  Wouldn’t they want what we have?  Wouldn’t the fire of Christ sweep with its healing power across our world?  Wouldn’t it save us from catastrophe?

No, not every catastrophe is a disciplinary strike from the Lord.  That’s not what I’m saying at all.  But God is a loving parent, longing to bless us.  Imagine if you had a beloved child to whom you’d decided to give everything—a new car, a college education, a starter home, vacations, a trust fund, a gift of $20,000 a year for life, and ultimately everything you own when you pass on.  But before you could fulfill your plans, he ran his car into a brick wall.  Gambled away every cent he got.  Got kicked out of school for cheating.  Refused to return your calls.  Would you continue blessing him the way you’d planned?  While your heart broke, you would alter your plans until he straightened up.  Though the blessings were meant to be his, you would be irresponsible to continue lavishing them on him until he turned around.  You would devise ways of trying to get your child’s attention, so you could bless him again.  God is a parent like that.  And we are the children, fighting the goodness of a Father who loves us.  He wants to bless us, but because of our choices, he sometimes can’t.

One of the themes in all my books has been that the crisis is sometimes the blessing.  If crisis causes us to seek him with all our hearts, or draw even closer than we already are, then it puts us in a position to receive abundant blessings.  “Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard, and which have not entered the heart of man, all that God has prepared for those who love him” (1 Corinthians 2:9).

I pray that this series has made you think, and that it has drawn you closer to Christ, the ultimate blessing the Father has bestowed on us—himself in human flesh, who came to take the punishment for our wrecked lives and our bankrupt, rebellious souls, so that we could walk in blessing again.  All we have to do is cry out to him, admitting our guilt, and his grace will do the rest.”

Advertisements