As the Latin word, 'spero' is etched on the bottle that tied the stories in The Message in a Bottle, the meaning of hope ties through generations. I was truly inspired and encouraged by each of the stories in this Romance Collection. I've thoroughly reflected each time a story close, and wondered - just wondered how we see hope today. As these stories are set many years ago, can they still relate?
The authors of The Message in a Bottle Romance Collection provided a part of a hidden message for my review posts for each of the stories. Did you guess it? If you guessed Isaiah 44:3, you are correct.
"For I will pour water on him who is thirsty, and floods on the dry ground; I will pour My Spirit on your descendants, and My blessing on your offspring."~What does this verse mean for them? Why this verse? Their responses:
For me, the thing that jumps out is that God will pour His Spirit out and blessing on your offspring. I often think about what it will mean to be a kind mother-in-law or a wise grandma, because I have been blessed with both those things. I believe the prayers we pray now can have a lasting effect on our children and grandchildren (not to mention the way we live!). My grandma prayed faithfully that I might marry this certain sweet red-haired boy I met in college...and several breakups and boyfriends later, guess who won my heart? I am so grateful God enabled me to marry the red-haired man who always cared so deeply about me, the man who was perfect for me in every way. Somehow, my grandma had insight into this and prayed accordingly. I just pray my family will follow the Lord in generations to come--and that gives me hope that what is sown today for God will not be in vain.
Water is an incredible thing. The way it can seep through every crack, penetrate even the hardest places, and soften parched earth until it's a place where life can flourish once more. I know I've felt this in my own heart-- times I've felt like dry earth, desperate for life, cracked straight through. And yet He comes, pouring down that water and reminding me of Whose I am, and that He will not leave me in the desert. It reminds me of Psalm 72:6-- "May he be like rain falling on a mown field, like showers watering the earth." I'm humbled and grateful, and soaking in ever drop.
This verse reminds me that God is always, always with us—in our needs (when we're thirsty) and during hard times (on dry ground). It also reminds me that He's placed us in the family we're born into, with all of its strengths and weaknesses, and is with us throughout the generations. My family carries a genetic disorder (Fragile X Syndrome) which was a surprise to me but not to Him. Even though it's a challenge, it's in those challenges that God's blessings are most apparent.
Isaiah 44:3 tells me that when I get thirsty, when life feels dry and barren, my hope lies in the fact that it’s only a temporary season. God will not just quench the thirst, but pour Himself out in abundance. Without Him, I yield nothing of value, but with Him, my life is rich and fruitful.
This verse reminds me that the LORD is so incredibly abundant. He has more than enough for our needs and his offering and care is so sufficient. Though life will not always be easy, He is there to sustain us in ways that are beyond what even we can imagine.
Thank you all for indulging me in these past few days. The message of hope, of God's love and the abundance of it, it beyond what we can fathom. I end this again with this verse, my hope for you.
as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope
by the power of the Holy Spirit.
- Romans 15:13
Publisher: Barbour Publishing
Genre: Inspirational Historical Fiction / Novella Collection
Join the journey as one word etched in Latin on an ancient bronze bottle travels through the centuries to reach five young women who are struggling to maintain their faith in God and love. An Irish princess, a Scottish story weaver, a Post-Colonial nurse, a cotton mill worker, and a maid who nearly drowned each receive a message from the bottle just when they need their hope restored. But will the bottle also bring them each to a man whose love will endure?
The Distant Tide by Heather Day Gilbert
1170: County Kerry, Ireland
When a Viking bent on revenge mistakenly raids the castle of a bookish Irish princess, will she cast her fears aside to befriend the enemy, finally realizing God’s plan for her life?
A Song in the Night by Amanda Dykes
1717: Scotland and England
When a Scottish story-weaver loses her family in a clan war, she finds herself aided by a handsome, secretive bagpiper in a race against time to reunite with someone she never dared hope she'd see again.
The Forgotten Hope by Maureen Lang
1798: New York
As a champion of the sick, a young New Yorker never doubted her worth until a new doctor arrives to work with her father, one who believes her to be nothing more than a social butterfly. Can she gain his respect—and his love?
A River Between Us by Jocelyn Green
1864: Roswell, Georgia
When a Georgian cotton mill worker is arrested and sent North, the Union officer who tries to protect her is the last person she wants to forgive—and the only man who can bring hope and healing to her heart.
The Swelling Sea by Joanne Bischof
1890: Coronado Island, California
After washing ashore on the California coastline, a young woman’s yearning to discover her past leads her to the courageous oarsman who helps her find the key.