Deeply sighing as I sink into my favorite chair, the events of the day sashay across my mind. Avoiding the review, I shift my thoughts to more practical things, like the unfinished grocery list. Yet the gnawing of the day’s unresolved issues press in. A deep breath or two releases the pent up pressure giving me clearer vision. The pressures remain, but my awareness of God in the midst gives me the key to unlock resilience within the fragility of life.
Still early in my One Word 2022 journey with my bold friend, resilience, my agility at recognizing our encounters remains immature. Though unnoticed, resilience visited me on several occasions this past month. Focusing on three key verses of preparation, my search for resilience led me a bit astray.
The exhortations held in Proverbs 24:10:
“If you faint in the day of adversity, your strength is small.”
“Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.”
and Joshua 1:9:
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
Reminded me of the end result of resilience. But, losing my way, I forgot the most important lesson God impressed my heart:
In 2022, God desires I step more fully into my spiritual identity, showing forth His glorious power through the resilience embedded there.
Which means finding resilience within the fragility of everyday life.
the fragility of life
Life is fragile. Nothing brings the truth of this statement home better than working for a hospice agency. Reading a report of all of the deaths from the previous day each morning shouts the impermanence of this life.
We all live one breath to the next, but the reality of our fragile existence escapes us most days. Facing imminent death may not welcome us today, but life’s fragility comes in many forms.
Trials, hardships, unexpected events, illness and challenges remind us daily we control nothing about our lives.
Yet a remarkable occurence happens within this certain fragility: we remain, we bounce back, we continue on our unique journey through life. In most cases, like steel, each time we pass through the fire, an extraordinary strength is revealed.
Resilience isn’t about how much you can handle before you break, it’s about how much you can handle after you break.
resilience in jars of clay
Where JOY pulled me deeper into intimacy with Christ, resilience flows from that place of intimacy and trust, filtering every adversity through God’s good plan.
Resilience shines as an unyielding strength forged in the fire of adversity.
Ingeniously, God ordains we hold this strength in jars of clay. Speaking of the Light of the glorious gospel as a treasure held in us, as fragile instruments, Paul writes:
But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies.2 Corinthians 4:7-10
Is not resilience the story of the gospel told over and over again through the mundane of everyday triumphs and failures? The fragile nature of life presents us with afflictions, confusion, injustices, and sin. Yet we remain uncrushed, without despair, unforsaken and utterly invincible.
Resilience echoes the gospel through the darkest of nights, the loudest accusations and the cruelest blows struck by sin.
Instead of revealing weakness, with each crack and chip of the clay jar, the excellency of God’s power shines forth in glorious gospel proclamation.
unlock resilience within the fragility of life
Sitting in my chair at the end of a hard day fraught with pressures and the reality of my own sin, I wonder why God chose that particular path for me today. Closing my eyes and leaning in to listen, I hear it.
For along the rough and rocky path, I must cling to a strength not my own, entrusting every step to his sovereign plan. Though I stumble and fall, the glorious Light of the gospel demonstrated in his grace and mercy bids me embrace the resilience hidden there.
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