Friday, May 1, 2020

Uncovering Our Hard Hearts by Melinda V. Inman

Meme that says "Writer Life"

Uncovering Our Hard Hearts

God is for you. Let’s not forget this reality, this fact, even though we’re another month into this pandemic. The emotional stress of less human contact coupled with our lack of control over our circumstances is causing turmoil. We can’t seem to find God in this trial. In short, this pandemic has uncovered the hardness of our hearts.

We often feel as if the pandemic has not only separated us from one another, but also from God. Of course, this isn’t true. Our feelings are out of line with reality. God is always present. Yet, in times of trouble, we can forget the sovereign goodness of God and that he is with us in even this.

This calls for personal reflection, for probing to see what exactly is going on in our hearts. We need to remember, to focus on the promises of God, which prove themselves true.

Meme with Romans 8:35, 37-39

This testing of our faith reveals what we’ve buried. We didn’t realize it, but truths we once believed may have become mere platitudes. Our anxiety reveals that we doubt God’s goodness.

Some of us then resort to fake science, to conspiracy theories, and to doubting the wisdom of doctors and scientists. Some resort to fear-mongering and to grabbing hold of anything that makes us feel even slightly in control. Some of us cannot sleep, for anxiety has overtaken us.

Instead, what if we yield? Is God sovereign, or is he not?

Digging into our heart response shows us that we need to come to Jesus. We’ve faltered in our trust in him. Our faith isn’t as strong and as deep as we once thought. During cycles of terror, suffering, and pain, this experience is often the norm. We learn our true condition.

“We want a gospel that tells us we’re beloved and safe, but we don’t like remembering it also includes death. We want to be protagonists in the story of love, but we need continual conversion to inhabit the place Christ bought for us in his story” (K. J. Ramsey, This Too Shall Last).

Continual conversion. Our commitment to Jesus is not a one-time proclamation that we then walk away from, our tickets punched. No, we cooperate daily in our messy transformation. The letter to the Hebrews was written to believers like us, who faced imminent death and who considered walking away from their faith for they feared falling into Nero’s hands.

Hebrews 4:6-7 urges: “So God’s rest is there for people to enter, but those who first heard this good news failed to enter because they disobeyed God. So God set another time for entering his rest, and that time is today. God announced this through David. . . ‘Today when you hear his voice, don’t harden your hearts’” (NLT).

We harden our hearts every day in large and in small ways. But today, let’s yield to God. Let’s soften our hearts, handing our doubt and fear to him. Let’s pray that prayer of faith once again, “Lord, I believe. Help me in my unbelief.” This prayer is always welcomed.

During hardship, even Christian writers need these reminders. We need to reaffirm our faith and to strengthen our confidence in Christ by spending time in God’s Word. I know that I do. I was just sitting in my dark closet crying over these truths.

God is sovereign over our circumstances. Let’s turn again to the Lord, humbling ourselves, praying that prayer of faith as often as needed, and giving it all to him. Let’s treat others as we would like to be treated, wearing our social distancing masks, protecting our neighbors.

And then, let’s write about it. Our readers feel the same. Everyone does. Now is the time to write with complete transparency, to offer real words of hope.

As a reminder of that hope, listen to this blessing on Instagram by Kari Jobe and Cody Carnes.

Today, let’s yield to God. Let’s soften our hearts, handing our doubt and fear to him. #SeriouslyWrite #Encouragement via @MelindaVInman
God is sovereign over our circumstances. #SeriouslyWrite #Encouragement via @MelindaVInman
Now is the time to write with complete transparency, to offer real words of hope. #SeriouslyWrite #Encouragement via @MelindaVInman

The Shadows Come
The Shadows Come

Sequel to No Longer Alone
(WW1 Based on a True Story)

Germany threatens all of Europe. Millions have died. President Woodrow Wilson makes the declaration that the United States must enter the Great War to rescue our allies. Congress approves. Our story begins. In America’s heartland, everyone hunkers down to provide food for the world and resources for the war effort. A draft is necessary, and all young men must register. One by one, these are called to war. With this threat looming, Prentis and Avery raise the necessary horsepower, cultivate the needed crops, and contribute their labors to the Red Cross.

But crises at home, an insidious busybody, and one after another called up to fight in Europe bring the greatest dangers they’ve ever faced together. Then there’s the influenza pandemic. Will they survive the war abroad and the war being waged at home, threatening their love and their lives? Will their loved ones make it home again?

Melinda V. Inman, author of Fallen; Refuge;
No Longer Alone; and The Shadows Come

Raised on the Oklahoma plains in a storytelling family, Melinda now spins tales from her writer’s cave in the South. Her fiction illustrates our human story, wrestling with our brokenness and the storms that wreak havoc in our lives.


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