I want to talk today about Resilience. It is defined as “the ability of a substance or object to spring back into shape, having elasticity.” This description is similar to a bamboo tree. They tend to bend, but not break. In life, I think it’s important for us to bend but not break. Sometimes the storms of life hit. Sometimes things hit all at one time and it feels like everything is dumped on you all at once. To be resilient means you have the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties and tough times.
I declare over your life today that you are resilient. If you haven’t been resilient, then you will become resilient. Prov. 24:6 “Even if good people fall seven times, they will get back up.” I love that. They will get back up. You will get back up. Being resilient isn’t about the first part of that verse where a righteous person or a good person may fall seven times. Instead, the emphasis is that between the righteous and the unrighteous person, the righteous get back up!
I want to encourage you today, if you have fallen or slipped, if your feet have been cut out from under you in your marriage or in a relationship, at work, emotionally or financially, GET BACK UP! When we learned to ride a bike, we have all fallen. When we learned to play a sport or activity, we have all slipped, but we don’t stay down. We get back up! That’s what Solomon says in Proverbs.
There’s an interesting tree, an Elm tree that represents resilience. Twenty-two years ago, in April of 1995, the terrorist bombing attack in Oklahoma City took place. One hundred sixty-eight people were tragically killed, and hundreds were wounded and yet survived. In front of that location, the Alfred P. Murray Building, there sits a 40 foot tall Elm tree that survived the bombing. Now that Elm tree represents something to everyone that walks by and remembers that terrible day and what evil was committed at that spot. The Elm tree speaks of resilience.
I hope there’s an Elm tree in your life. If not, an Elm tree can be planted that speaks of God’s faithfulness, His redemptive work that speaks of your resilience – not in yourself, but in Christ. The Apostle Paul once said, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
What is resilience? “It’s when you give up on quitting.” – Carl Toti.
Or, it’s when you quit on giving up. You aren’t going to throw in that towel. Instead, I’m going to bounce back and be flexible but not breakable. “Resilience is the capacity to prepare for disruption, recover from shocks, and stresses, adapt and grow from a disruptive experience.” Does that describe you? If not, it can and it will.
If you’re going to be resilient, it’s going to take three things:
- Hope – There’s a powerful scripture in Zach. 9:12 “Return to your fortress oh prisoners of hope.” If you’re going to be resilient, bounce back and bend but not break, you are going to have to have hope. You will need to return to your fortress of your prison of hope. You do have a bright future even though what is behind you may be some carnage.
- Have a vision – Proverbs 29:11 “Without a vision, the people perish.” You don’t want to be without a vision. You want to be able to have hope, a picture of what your future can be with God’s help.
- Have a plan – God’s comeback plan for your life. Jer 29:11 “I know the plans that I have for you. A plan to give you a future and to give you hope.” There is a comeback plan that God has for your life. You can be resilient.
Some of you may have lost your job recently, had some setbacks, the storms of life have come your way; but like the Bamboo tree when the hurricane winds are blowing in and everything is being ripped apart, that tree bends with the wind but doesn’t break. It’s resilient. I hope you take this word in your heart today and ask God to help you become more resilient, to help you have the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties and setbacks.
Have a great rest of the day.