Be Still Know
Psalm 139:14 NLT
‘Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous – how well I know it.’
Resilience is a word that means elasticity. It is the ability to return to original form once bent out of shape. This well describes the wonder of our humanity. Life teaches us that no matter our plans and dreams, life happens to us and along the way we are subject to difficulties. These difficulties impact every aspect of our humanity: emotions, physicality, psychology and spirituality.
The challenge to securing the benefits that come from human resilience is refusing to grow rigid and inflexible given circumstances we’ve not chosen. Early days with Katey’s MS, I stood my ground on physical healing through God’s supernatural intervention. Miracles were a part of the faith I’d embraced and I wanted and needed one now. Was that too much to demand of God? I was encouraged in this stance that together as Church we called ‘faith’ and we agreed a programme of fasting and prayer gatherings that eventually exhausted us by both their regularity and apparent failure to make any real impact. Of course, to question our approach was called ‘faithlessness’ and no one wanted that on their Christian CV! So on we went, our rigidity presented as steadfastness, and our ability to encounter God diminished through our virtuous good work of prayer.
Resilience gifted to each by God, seeded into our human DNA from conception, enables each of us to discover, through pain and heart-searching, depression and despair, that we are created with the capacity to absorb a high degree of disappointment, yet still encounter God. This discovery silences all else: our demands for relief, our angry outbursts, our bloody-mindedness in holding a position that God abandoned long ago. The problem with rigidity is that it shatters and breaks, much as a glass into which boiling water is poured. Shattered shards are not easily repaired, and bear the signs of their repair.
I am resilient, yet also fragile. Memories are rich, if painful, and like memory foam retain the knowledge gained from each experience I’ve had of being bent out of shape along my way.
QUESTION: In what ways has God made you resilient?
PRAYER: Father, may I not become so rigid in my ways as to miss your greater purposes.