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Resilience

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May 22 in Musings
Maybe because I work at a studio, one of the frequent ice-breaker questions we get asked during workshops is “if you were a super-hero, what would your super-power be?”  How would you answer?
 
While I’d love the ability to fly, jump through time or be cloaked invisible…sometimes I wonder what it would be like to have the power of resilience?
Resilience is frequently described as our ability to thrive in challenging circumstances.  It’s different from endurance which is the ability to persevere and not give up.
 
Lately, I’ve been learning and thinking a lot about resilience.  You see, when I’m knocked down, sometimes it gets to me and I can’t get back up right away.  Does this mean I’m not resilient?  Is that a bad thing?  I wonder.
 
Sometimes I see people bounce back quickly from tough situations and I think, “Wow, how do they do that?”  I wish I could wipe yesterday’s failure or hurtful conversation from my mind and move on quicker.  Maybe you do, too?
 
How did this “bounce back” belief come into our ethos?  Does our expectation of getting back on that horse after a fall reflect a contemporary, western achievement culture, more than the Bible?  Interesting thought to ponder.  In scripture, failure and loss are a common theme – from Adam & Eve’s failure in the beginning to Job’s experiences of mourning and loss to the later struggles of the early church in the New Testament.  Books like Lamentations and the Psalms express the same hurt, loneliness, frustration and grief that we experience today.  We read that David and the people of Israel didn’t just snap out of it when experiencing difficult times.
 
One thing I’ve learned so far is we’re not super-heroes.  We are not made bullet-proof from pain and hurt.  Maybe I can learn to accept and recover better in some situations.  But, I’ve also learned I can’t force the timing of healing and recovery.
 
When I fall, I shall rise; when I sit in darkness, the LORD will be a light to me.
Micah 7:8
 
Trials may knock us down but each of us can rise.  One can rise gradually or quickly – there is no defined pace.  The key is we’re not alone.  When I sit in darkness, the LORD is present.

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