I know Lynn Austin as the wonderful author of several books, several of which I have reviewed.
Well, in this book, Pilgrimage: My Journey to a Deeper Faith in the Land Where Jesus Walked, I really got to know the author herself. I also learned about myself as well as about our God. What more can one ask from a book?
In Pilgrimage, Lynn feels spiritually numb after a year in which all of her children moved away and several beloved family members passed away. She’s mourning the loss of the people she loved as well as of her dream of being a cookie-baking, story-reading, hands-on grandma. She finds all these changes so difficult to accept that she thinks she may actually upset with God, and she suspects that is the reason for her spiritual lethargy. She writes:
Spiritual renewal is what I long for, too, as I begin this pilgrimage. I want to see the bigger picture of His plan and learn to accept His will in all things. I want to revitalize my prayer life, really listening to what He is saying to me and asking His help through these changes. Maybe I’ll be able to let go of my own will and face the changes in my life with joy and faith.
Although she adds, “That’s asking a lot for a two-week trip,” it isn’t really, because God can work through anything and in any timeframe. I found myself strangely moved by this book. In some ways I, too, am facing changes—and who isn’t?—and this book helped me to accept the challenges and get ready to move on in faith.
Lynn and her husband travelled with a tour group and a wonderful guide, beginning in the south of Israel, the Negev, continuing all the way north to Mount Hermon, and then heading back to Jerusalem for the Sabbath. Each chapter discusses her surroundings, what part they played in the Bible, and what she learned from her travels. Like a devotional, each of the twelve chapters begins with a Bible passage and ends with a prayer.
When I finished the last chapter, I turned to the beginning of the book and started reading again. Yes, it’s that kind of book, and I highly recommend it for anyone who faces unwelcome change, feels spiritually numb, or has visited Israel.
To read an illustrated review with pictures of the pool of Siloam and Hezekiah’s tunnel, visit Thoughts on Books.
Disclosure: This book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. and is available at your favorite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group.