A good friend called me recently to relay that she was being considered for a promotion which she was EXTREMELY qualified for with her employer. She interviewed well (and actually had a second interview) and everything seemed to be lining up. She humbly talked to me about what value and skills she would bring to the position and we knew that God would answer prayers in her favor for the position. She was the right candidate.
When she called a week later with the news that the job had been given to a less qualified co-worker, I offered words of encouragement and did my best NOT to say, “Better luck next time”. She was disappointed, but she wasn’t bitter. When we hung up, I prayed for God to comfort her heart.
It can be challenging to hold back your tears, square your shoulder, hold your head up and keep moving when you feel you’ve been treated unjustly. But, it can be done. Jesus prayed for those who were intensely set on ending His life. He prayed to His Father – from the cross, “Forgive them, for they know not what they do”. He is a great example to us: When life gets hard, pray harder.
Take action now: Meditate on Proverbs 16:9: “A man’s heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps”. (New King James Version)
Embrace this truth: A “no” from God may mean “no, not yet”. Wait with patience.
I have a confession: I am easily distracted when it comes to doing something that I really don’t want to do. For example, recently I had committed to spending one entire Saturday doing homework (since I had slacked on getting it done during that week). After 10 or 15 minutes of reading my textbook, I looked around the room and saw that there were some clothes that needed to be hung up and put away. I took a few minutes to put the items away and went back to reading my textbook. 10 or 15 minutes later I noticed that the carpet needed to be shampooed AND I remembered that this was the weekend that I had planned to shampoo it, knowing that my family would be gone most of the day (making it the perfect time to get it done!). After spending more than an hour, cleaning carpet throughout the entire house, I realized how much time I had wasted doing something that wasn’t really crucial.
I began to look at how much time I waste daily doing “stuff” that doesn’t add value to my life and I felt convicted. The Lord has placed BIG dreams and visions within me, yet the reality is I am not being a good steward of my time. How about you? Are you doing all that you should be doing or are you wasting time, like I was?
Take action now: Meditate on Hebrews 10:36: “You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.” (New International Version)
Embrace this truth: Don’t give your time and attention to unimportant matters.
The story of Daniel and his friends being cast into the lion’s den intrigued me as a child.
One of my favorite illustrations of this story is a picture that shows Daniel sleeping in the lion’s den AND the lions sleeping alongside him! In the midst of adversity, he is sound asleep!
Being in that same den may have struck fear in the heart of someone else, but Daniel didn’t worry or panic because He knew that He wasn’t alone! How often do problems or circumstances cause us to lay awake worrying, pacing the floor or losing sleep and trying to figure out what we should do? Prayer should be our first response, not our last resort. God loves us as much as he loved Daniel. Daniel didn’t go to sleep hoping the lions would disappear. He went to sleep knowing that God would protect him. His trust and faith in God brought peace right there to the lion’s den. God will do it for us, if we believe.
Take action now: Meditate on Isaiah 41:10 Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness (American Standard Version)
Embrace this truth: Trust God while you’re in the “lion’s den” (your challenging circumstances, fears, etc.).
I wrote a skit a few years ago titled, “Bad Girls of the Bible” and showcased some women in the Bible who were really not that different than many modern women and young girls. They struggled with insecurities, trust issues and rejection.
When you read the story of the woman at the well in John 4 and begin to consider why she was promiscuous, more than likely it was the low value that she placed on herself and her low self-esteem. Her actions were probably an attempt to gain attention by any means necessary. The men loved her and the women hated her. I’ve often heard young women say that they don’t have female friends for a number of reasons, which is sad because I realize how important it is to have a good friend or two to help on this journey through life. Having someone pray with you, for you and have your back can make a positive difference in your life, so before you count out the next woman, give her a chance. A beautiful, lifelong friendship may develop if you open your heart to receive her.
Take action now: Meditate on Proverbs 27:10: Do not forsake your friend and your father’s friend, and do not go to your brother’s house in the day of your calamity. Better is a neighbor who is near than a brother who is far away (New International Version)
Embrace this truth: Friendships are like oxygen. They are a necessity!
The excitement and anxiety that pregnant women experience is heightened as they get close to their delivery date. Understandably, they are nervous and not quite sure what to expect. I have never heard anyone ever say that she enjoyed her labor pains. It’s amazing to note that the memory of the labor pains quickly disappears after the mother sees and holds her child for the first time. I have many women say that the pain was worth the end result (which is the delivery of their child).
Many folks that I know have experienced tremendous hardship and tragedy. In many instances these folks are left reeling and broken-hearted and some even feel cursed by God. While being broken-hearted is a figure of speech, the hurts that we experience during our lifetime are very real. The good news is that the passing of time heals broken hearts and eventually celebrate your ability and will to survive. I encourage you not to give up in the midst of whatever battle or difficulty you’re facing. Your victory is on the horizon.
Take action now: Meditate on Psalms 37:25 I have been young, and now am old, yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread. (New Revised Standard Version)
Embrace this truth: Victory is yours!