So one more word that keeps bouncing around in my head is resilience. Resilience is the ability to bounce back from trials; it is the response to tragedy and crises that allows one to move on despite the loss or trauma. Being resilient to me means I have the ability to suffer greatly without giving up and grow from it. I want this to define me. I want to recover quickly from setbacks. I want to be flexible and remain pliable in tough times. I don’t want to be described as a quitter, helpless, rigid or unable to adapt. This is to be the biblical norm for christians. In fact my favorite bible verse, Phil. 3:12-15 reminds me to press on, to forget what lies behind, persevere and keep following God, NO.MATTER.WHAT.
This season is very stressful, but would I say it is the most stressful time in my life? It is heavy for many reasons but it is not even close to things I have gone through earlier in my life. I may have some tougher things yet to come, but again, they are nothing in comparison to things others go through.
Earlier I mentioned that resilience is the biblical norm and what I mean is that the key to resilience is faith in the Lord. Paul says that though “we are hard pressed on every side, we are not crushed, perplexed but not in despair, persecuted but not abandoned, struck down but not destroyed.” (2 Cor. 4:8,9). I do not know how things will end, no matter how hard I try. This is where my other favorite verse comes in: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your path.” (Prov. 3:5,6).
Faith does not mean that I will bounce back more quickly AFTER trials are over. Rather, it is the belief in a God who is Emmanuel, walking with me in the storm, that builds resilience. It is the promise of a loving and powerful Savior that helps me to grow hope and live in light of eternity. It is the calming presence of a loving God who endured the cross for me that keeps me going joyfully as I rely on Him to accomplish His purposes.