This is the 4th blog in our summer series on resilience.
Contrary to popular belief, resilience is less verb and more noun. It has less to do with how well we bounce back from whatever stresses and strains stretch us beyond belief, and more to do with who we are becoming in the midst of whatever stresses and strains stretch us beyond belief. We aren’t elastic bands. We are like trees, planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season.
So far, we’ve considered 2 key questions:
First: Do you know the soil in which you’re planted? Do you know God?
Second: Do you know who God sees when He looks at you? You matter!
Listen to these words.
Song of Solomon 4 (NLT)
You are beautiful, my darling,
beautiful beyond words.
Your eyes are like doves
behind your veil.
Your hair falls in waves,
like a flock of goats winding down the slopes of Gilead.
Your teeth are as white as sheep,
recently shorn and freshly washed.
Your smile is flawless,
each tooth matched with its twin.[a]
Your lips are like scarlet ribbon;
your mouth is inviting.
Your cheeks are like rosy pomegranates
behind your veil.
Your neck is as beautiful as the tower of David,
jeweled with the shields of a thousand heroes.
Your breasts are like two fawns,
twin fawns of a gazelle grazing among the lilies.
Before the dawn breezes blow
and the night shadows flee,
I will hurry to the mountain of myrrh
and to the hill of frankincense.
You are altogether beautiful, my darling,
beautiful in every way.
You are beautiful. In every way.
Do you know how God sees you? Do you choose to see yourself through His eyes? I know that that may be a painful choice for you depending on your circumstances, your family heritage, your experiences growing up, all the things that have acted upon you and gone into shaping who you are today.
Peter writes in 1 Peter 5: “Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith.”
4 ways to stand firm and be strong
In my own life, moving from elastic band (doing) to evergreen tree (being) has meant:
a) refusing and refuting the enemy’s lies – lies that I’ve bought into over the years, lies that mean I’ve lived in doubt, with fear, unable to forgive, always 100% consumed by all-or-nothing thinking; beset with a hurry-up-and-win mindset and lugging around a bag of low-grade discouragement that’s filled with my hours and days of procrastination . . .
b) ditching my rear-view mirror. Do you know that you have a rear-view mirror and you’re always looking through it at where you’ve come from . . . so much so that you barely see where you’re going? But our rear-view mirrors aren’t God’s word: “You did not choose me. I chose you. I appointed you to go and produce lasting fruit . . . ” John 15:16, (NLT). How quickly I forget that I didn’t choose God, God chose me – first!
c) throwing out the old labels – the ones I made myself and the ones others have given me: snob, loner, 4-eyes, neurotic, outsider, clumsy, perfectionist, impatient one
d) believing, finally that I belong. God’s given me some new labels. He’s given new labels to you too: steward, overcomer, believer, peacemaker, beloved, daughter, friend, leader, worshipper, pray-er.
Choosing to know God; to delight in the law of the LORD, to plant your roots deep into Jesus Christ, the Word made flesh, means that you also choose to see yourself the way God sees you.
Who does God see when He looks at you? What new labels has He given you?
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