Nancy does not disappoint. She hits the facts of what life is in its upheavals and frustrations and disappointments with the sincerity of one who has walked the road. What I appreciated most in this introduction though was her honest portrayal to believers of what it means to have even been disappointed in Jesus (meaning our understanding of Jesus).
Why did He, why does He work this way? The naked question every authentic soul has asked at one time.
I am an idealistic realist. I know that in Christ alone, there is something better. Most assuredly, all better, eternally better, absolutely and utterly better. But in the between time from here to there, life is hard. Really, really hard. In the small and large things of life, people, circumstances, and stuff all combine to equal hard.
Nancy writes, "The book of Hebrews is an appeal for endurance in spite of difficulty, perseverance in the face of disappointment." (Intro, p.xx) Which meant that even though Hebrews is my favorite book of the Bible, she had me hooked with that sentence. I mean, have you seen my tagline?
Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. James 1:4
I chose that tagline years ago but its point still hits my heart. I am called by God to persevere in my faith, in my obedience, in my life roles, in my work. I am to trust in how God perseveres in me through each circumstance as well. And Jesus Christ is the keystone for my perseverance. Knowing Him more thoroughly, adoring Him more completely, and obeying Him more completely are the goals I took from Nancy's introduction. I loved her challenge, "The great theological teachings in Hebrews are not just to increase our theological knowledge; they are intended to serve as the basis for action."(Intro, p.xxii)
All right then, Lord, please fill me up with Your Word, the Person of Jesus Christ, and set my life to the actions of perseverance You alone have ordained.
Let me know in the comments if you are reading along with me. Feel free to comment otherwise as well.