Why does it matter? Do we all need to be resilient?
This is the third in our summer blog series on resilience.
You and I aren’t made of elastic. Resilience must mean so much more than all the definitions we read about being able to bounce back from the stresses and strains of life that stretch us. Too much stretching beyond our capacity and we snap. And that hurts. Every time. However, there’s an image of resilience in Scripture that invites us to consider resilience first as a way of being. That image is a tree.
In Psalm 1: 1-3, we read “Oh, the joys of those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or stand around with sinners, or join in with mockers. But they delight in the law of the LORD, meditating on it day and night. They are like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season. Their leaves never wither, and they prosper in all they do.”
So, the first step in being resilient is knowing the soil in which we’re planted. Know God.
Paul puts it this way:
“And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow him. Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.” (Colossians 2:6-7, NLT)
The second step is this: We must know who God sees when He looks at us.
If you aren’t taking root in Him you will not be able to grasp even 1/10th of the woman He sees when He looks at you. Women of God know who and whose they are.
Listen to Jesus’ words to you:
“Neither do I condemn you. Go and sin no more” (John 8 – woman caught in adultery)
“Dear woman, why are you crying?” (John 20 – just before He reveals Himself to Mary Magdalene and commissions her to go and tell the disciples that He was alive.)
“I tell you the truth, this poor widow has given more than all the others who are making contributions.” (Mark 12 – looking at the poor widow giving her mites at the Temple)
“Her sins – and they are many – have been forgiven as she has shown me much love . . . Your faith has saved you; go in peace.” (Luke 7 – the woman who anointed him at Bethany)
“Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace.” (Luke 8 – woman with the issue of blood who is healed)
“Dear woman, you are healed of your sickness . . . daughter of Abraham” (Luke 13 – bent over woman healed in synagogue on Sabbath)
And then there are Paul’s words in Ephesians:
“We are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
You and I are held. Seen, even when outcast; even when alone like Hagar with her son Ishmael, about to die in the desert. Made whole, like Mary Magdalene. Straightened up like the bent-over woman who Jesus healed on the Sabbath. Given a special name – daughter. All of us alive – even parts that have been dead for oh so long – raised up just like Jairus’ daughter. Appointed to spread good news to people who may never believe us at first – just like Jesus appointed Mary Magdalene to go tell the disciples that He was no longer dead. Just like the Samaritan woman.