“(Misfortune) can ruin your life only if it ruins your character. Otherwise, it cannot harm you—inside or out.” Aurelius

“The great objective of this life is character, for it is the only thing we can carry with us into eternity.” Austin Phelps

Doesn’t it help to keep in mind, when life feels particularly hard, that God has our character growth in mind? Right now with the COVID-19 epidemic keeping most of the world in lockdown, with economies declining, it is easy to see loss and limitations.

The usual props we rely on to keep us afloat seem suddenly tenuous, melting away with alarming speed.  Worse, we are reminded of our mortality and the fragile nature of life.

The invisible work of God in our lives and hearts—our character—is less easily discerned. But it’s right there, revealing the shaky foundations. And so we must choose: to mourn the loss of the safe-holds we have trusted in, or give them up in exchange for Him.

Is the lockdown exacerbating something in your character that needs improvement? Are secret fears and doubts growing in strength? The Lord brings us to the tip of the iceberg we’ve been floating on (we thought it was sturdy land) and now bids us gaze into the icy depths of our soul.

We must face our helplessness. Only then can we surrender the melting thing we trusted in and turn to the Rock.

Trust is not weakness of character. It is the very growth we need.  The growth that will take us through the lockdown and accompany us into eternity. Despite material losses, we gain. That’s Kingdom economy!

Forever, Lately

Linore Rose Burkard writes “Romance to Warm the Heart, Fiction to Stir the Soul.” Best known for Inspirational Regency Romance, she also writes  YA/Suspense and Contemporary Romance. Find her online at https://www.LRBurkard.com, or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/groups/LinoreBurkardReadersGroup/

 

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Recently, I was bummed out by some in the church who seemed to imply writing fiction is not a holy calling. They as much as said that if we aren’t engaged in outright evangelism, then we aren’t fulfilling the Great Commission.

I did some soul-searching. Told God, “I quit. I’m done (writing).” He immediately began sending me encouragement, reminding me that I write because He called me to it, and it is no less legitimate a calling than my call as a wife, mother, or friend.

But a reader’s note to me the very next day capped it and encouraged my heart with the words, “I think it’s important you know the good impact you are making (for) the body of Christ.” She said, “What you do is subtly draw a picture of what holy (clean, righteous, moral) living looks like in contrast to unrighteous living…This underlying message is clear in every one of your novels.”

And, “Finally, it is always such a joy to be able to be entertained and feel clean afterward! Your books are like a daffodil pushing up through a crevice in the rock and snow—beauty in this moral wilderness. Thank you, thank you, thank you!”

The timing of her words couldn’t have been better. The Lord is so kind. We all must fulfill the calling God gives us, and not the particular vision of other Christians who happen to be in our lives at any given time.

Linore Rose Burkard is a serious watcher of period films, a Janeite, and hopeless romantic. An award winning author best known for Inspirational Regency Romance, her first novel (Before the Season Ends) opened the genre for the CBA. Besides historical romance, Linore writes contemporary suspense (The Pulse Effex Series, as L.R. Burkard), contemporary romance (Falling In), and romantic short stories (ie., “Three French Hens”). Linore has a magna cum laude English Lit. degree from CUNY which she earned while taking herself far too seriously. She now resides in Ohio with her husband and family, where she turns her youthful angst into character or humor-driven plots. Sign up for Linore’s newsletter to be automatically entered in monthly book drawings. You’ll also receive a free novella, Coach and Four: Allisandra’s Tale, set in the days of King Charles II! Enter your email to join here: http://www.LinoreBurkard.com

 

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