A Time Like This

By Linda Tancs

It’s certainly no exaggeration to say that the COVID-19 pandemic is wearing on people’s nerves. Recently, a local business owner exclaimed to me, “Why do I have to live through something like this!”

The Old Testament story of Esther immediately came to mind. In that book, Esther’s cousin Mordecai persuades her to exert influence over her husband, the Persian king, to foil a plan hatched by the king’s minister Haman to annihilate the Jews throughout the empire. Although any such request could’ve resulted in her own death, Mordecai reminded Esther that, as an upright Jewish woman, perhaps she came to her position on the throne for just such a time in her people’s history (Esther 4:14).

Like Esther, we’re all enduring this trial for God’s purpose. Don’t bemoan your endurance during this historical time. Embrace it. What can you do to alleviate suffering during this time? Can you shop for someone? Make masks? Offer encouragement or prayer?

You were destined for such a time as this.

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As part of FOOT FORWARD MINISTRIES, Go Forward in Faith represents faith-based meditations for personal and professional growth. Learn more at goforwardinfaith.com. Follow us on Twitter @moveonfaith and join the Facebook group @goforwardinfaith.

 

 

 

Enjoy the Ride

By Linda Tancs

There’s a poster that reads “enjoy where you are on the way to where you are going.” For some, it may seem impossible to enjoy the present moment. Maybe you’re having a physical, mental, emotional or spiritual challenge that renders a sentiment like that meaningless to you. But here’s the catch: if you cry and lament your way through your present circumstances, then when you’ve “arrived” at your breakthrough you’ve really only escaped what came before and won’t truly enjoy where you ended up. It’s the patient endurance of the journey that reaps a genuine harvest (James 1:2-4). You might need a seat belt, but enjoy the ride.

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As part of FOOT FORWARD MINISTRIES, Go Forward in Faith represents faith-based meditations for personal and professional growth. Learn more at goforwardinfaith.com. Follow us on Twitter @moveonfaith and join the Facebook group @goforwardinfaith.

 

Wait for It

By Linda Tancs

“Wait for it” is an expression used to show that you are about to say something surprising, funny or difficult to believe. God uses it in a different way, exhorting his prophet Habakkuk to wait for the answers that the prophet seeks. God reminds Habakkuk that the answer will come at the appointed time. God is never late (Habakkuk 2:3).

What are you waiting on? A new home? A different career? Improved family life? Can you learn to wait, like Habakkuk? Will you recognize the answer when it comes? We often forget that, sometimes, the answer to prayer is “no.” Ask God to help you not only recognize when the appointed time has come but also to accept the response.

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As part of FOOT FORWARD MINISTRIES, Go Forward in Faith represents faith-based meditations for personal and professional growth. Learn more at goforwardinfaith.com. Follow us on Twitter @moveonfaith and join the Facebook group @goforwardinfaith.

Let the Darlings Go

By Linda Tancs

In the world of fiction writing, an oft-used expression is “kill your darlings.” It generally means to delete any aspect of your story that, notwithstanding your fondness of it, does not advance the narrative. It’s an agonizing process, particularly if you’ve grown attached to a certain plot twist, character quirk or whatever the case may be.

You may not be a writer, but you undoubtedly have darlings of your own that do not advance the narrative of your life. Maybe you can’t let go of a friend’s broken promise or a colleague’s betrayal. Do you feed on 40-year-old regrets like a hungry child? Is there too much focus on your backstory and not enough forward action? That’s like a book that no one would want to read. Throw out the script that’s hindering you and move forward (Hebrews 12:1; Ecclesiastes 3:6).

It’s time to let your darlings go. Improve your story.

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As part of FOOT FORWARD MINISTRIES, Go Forward in Faith represents faith-based meditations for personal and professional growth. Learn more at goforwardinfaith.com. Follow us on Twitter @moveonfaith and join the Facebook group @goforwardinfaith.

 

 

Rudolph’s Bible Lesson

By Linda Tancs

Remember Rudolph, the red-nosed reindeer? Yeah, the one with the shiny and glowing nose. The one who was so different from his contemporaries that they shunned him. Nobody wanted Rudy as a playmate. But, oh, how things changed when Santa realized how Rudy’s bright, glowing nose could cut through the fog on Christmas Eve and get him where he needed to go (which was everywhere, of course). Then the other reindeer loved him, as the song goes. The “loser” was now a winner.

There’s a Bible lesson in this cherished song. To be sure, the favorable outcome for Rudy shows how others’ harm can be worked out for good by God (Genesis 50:20). God refreshes and restores, as Psalm 23 reminds us. Rudy’s victory tasted sweet, like a banquet presented to him before his foes (Psalm 23:5).

Recall some of your favorite holiday songs and see how many biblical lessons you can find!

The End of the Rope

By Linda Tancs

A common utterance is “I’m at the end of my rope.” Spoken out of emotions like desperation, depression or exasperation, it’s easy to think that you’re handling all that you can, that you can bear no more. If the phrase were true, then maybe you’d have a point. But it’s a false statement. You are not at the end of your rope—God is (Isaiah 41:10). And He’s pulling the rope in His direction. Let Him lead; don’t play “tug of war.”

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As part of FOOT FORWARD MINISTRIES, Go Forward in Faith represents faith-based meditations for personal and professional growth. Learn more at goforwardinfaith.com. Follow us on Twitter @moveonfaith and join the Facebook group @goforwardinfaith.

 

Finish Your Plate

By Linda Tancs

When you were a child, you might’ve been told to “finish your plate.” Maybe you were reminded of all the other children in the world who were starving for what was left on your plate. Jesus didn’t like waste, either. In one story of Jesus’s feeding of the multitudes, He instructed His disciples to gather the leftovers so that nothing would be wasted (John 6:10-12).

Waste isn’t just about food. What have you left on your plate, metaphorically speaking? What’s used up, worn out, fragmented? God’s power is perfected in your scraps, the bits and pieces (2 Corinthians 12:9). Give your unfinished plate to God, and He’ll make a banquet out of it (John 6:13).

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As part of FOOT FORWARD MINISTRIES, Go Forward in Faith represents faith-based meditations for personal and professional growth. Learn more at goforwardinfaith.com. Follow us on Twitter @moveonfaith and join the Facebook group @goforwardinfaith.

 

Mind the Gap

By Linda Tancs

The British use the expression “mind the gap” to call attention to gaps at train station platforms—that abyss bridging where you are from where you want to be. The gap is a good metaphor for life transitions, where your “now” is not where you ultimately want to remain.

Sound familiar? Sometimes we sidestep life’s gaps—it’s too hard, too lonely, too uncertain. We stay stuck in the “now” but then try to avoid even that by reminiscing about the “good old days” (Ecclesiastes 7:10).

Don’t fall into that trap. Instead, embrace the gap and all its messy steps and details. Contrary to popular thought, the devil isn’t in the details—God is (Proverbs 16:9).

Ask, Seek and Knock

By Linda Tancs

Matthew 7:7-12 is often construed to mean that we can have what we want if we’ll just ask, seek and knock. Of course, God delights in giving gifts to His children, like any parent (James 1:17). But we miss an important opportunity to see this passage as an invitation to trust that we are being guided and cared for unless we insert Him into it.

Read it this way: “Everyone who asks for Him, receives Him; and the one who seeks, finds Him; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened to Him.” It’s not about what, it’s about who.

In Sync

By Linda Tancs

The belief that all things work together for good to those who love God (Romans 8:28) is a recognition of Divine order. It’s an abdication of the need to know how things will work out (Proverbs 3:5). Instead, it’s an acknowledgment that things will work out. All things. Not some things or even most things. God is the ultimate timekeeper, syncing all the times of your life into a harmonious whole. You can probably look at some circumstances already and see how it worked out for the best. God’s not done yet.