Today’s encouraging word is resilience.
Resilience is “the power or ability to return to the original form, position, etc., after being bent, compressed, or stretched; elasticity; ability to recover readily from illness, depression, adversity, or the like; buoyancy.”¹
In what areas might you need resilience today? Are you feeling pulled in a direction you would rather not go? Do you feel torn about a decision you need to make? Is there a burden that weighs you down? Perhaps you are wondering when you will feel “normal” again. Resilience is being able to endure these forces that push, pull and weigh on us, and yet remain who God has created us to be.
Let’s look more closely at the two synonyms we are given in the definition.
When we think of resilience as elasticity, we might think of people who weather trials while remaining steadfast in faith and hope, or trees that sway with the wind and thus become stronger, or balls of yeasty bread dough that give with the kneading and then raise to form plump, smooth loaves. They are tried and stretched but not broken. Their ability to be flexible and yielding during challenging times helps to foster new strength, endurance and growth.
But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. ~2 Corinthians 4:7-9 (NIV)
I especially like this synonym for resilience: buoyancy. An object with buoyancy keeps rising to the surface even after it has been pulled down into the depths. There are two opposing forces at work- gravity pulls an object down while water pushes it back up. Buoyancy is what helps the force of the water to overcome the force of the gravity.
This (kid-friendly 🙂 ) article explains more about buoyancy…
Little pebbles sink while a giant basketball floats, but why is that? The secret is buoyancy, or the ability of objects to float in water or air. Whether or not an object has buoyancy depends mostly on two factors: the amount of water an object displaces and the density of an object. A pebble is dense and displaces very little water, therefore it sinks. However, a basketball is not very dense and displaces more water, therefore it floats.²
Doesn’t this image provide a beautifully symbolic example of resiliency for our daily living? Imagine gravity as the weight of our worldly cares and concerns pulling us down, while water as the spirit of God drawing us back up. God’s buoyant force is already surrounding us, but how might we improve our own buoyancy? How do we better enable God to lift us from the depths of darkness back up to the light of love?
Both forces are affected by density and by surface area; how do we become more expansive and less dense? Perhaps as we open more and more to the Spirit, we expand with the goodness of God, while becoming less full of ourselves! We expand and fill ourselves with the lightness of the freedom, trust, grace, and joy that God so generously gives. And we release such burdens as sin, worry, control, and anxiety that weigh us down. We place every area of our lives before the loving touch of God, and surrender whatever pulls us down or anchors us in place.
Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up. ~ James 4:10 (NIV)
Do not rejoice over me, O my enemy;
when I fall, I shall rise;
when I sit in darkness,
the Lord will be a light to me.
~ Micah 7:8 (NRSV)
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” ~ John 16:33 (NIV)
Today my prayer is that we all may trust God to provide the resilience we need to face, bear, endure, and then overcome any challenges before us, so that we remain and grow as the beautiful creations God has made us to be.
“Do not judge me by my success, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again.” ― Nelson Mandela
“I can be changed by what happens to me. But I refuse to be reduced by it.”
― Maya Angelou
“She stood in the storm and when the wind did not blow her way, she adjusted her sails.”
― Elizabeth Edwards
This blogpost is for my friend, Becky.
Bible verses are copied from https://www.biblegateway.com/
Photo by Anders Nord on Unsplash