In the 36 hours between Jesus’ death and resurrection, Joanna, the sister of Mary, plumbs her own grief and loss by listening to the voices of the generations of women before her who have clung onto the promises of God. From the time of Noah, through Sarah, Leah, Miriam, Rahab, Deborah, Hannah, Abigail, Huldah, Esther and more, Joanna listens to the women who would speak to her of the faithfulness of God. And in hearing their stories, she prepares herself to experience the impossibility of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
This is Naomi Reed, doing what she does best – storytelling. In a single volume she captures the entire sweep of God’s plans and purpose for the world. And she does it through the voices of women, which is exactly why it works. Women all over the world gain strength through hearing each other’s stories. They listen to different versions of longing and fear and grief and joy, and they identify with them. But when the stories point to the way God is at work, revealing himself and his plans and purposes in the world – ultimately through his son Jesus Christ, the hearer is strengthened as well as comforted. In catching a glimpse of what God is like, his sovereignty and loving kindness, the hearer begins to believe that God’s promises of forgiveness and relationship are for them also. They too can believe that somehow, in the midst of their own trial, God is present and at work to bring about his purposes on this earth and in our lives, until he comes again. And that’s wonderful, astounding news, that’s a promise for me.