At this stage in life, we are often reminded to be “resilient”. This trait is supposed evidence of other desirable personality characteristics that we can carry throughout our lives—determination, flexibility, buoyancy, even lightheartedness. This thought is well-intentioned: What lasting good comes from giving up on life goals, other people, hope or your most basic qualities? Staying strong, in spite of circumstances, seems like something we want to maintain for as long as possible.
Recently I’ve noticed in myself and some older folks I’ve know that it’s not always easy to exhibit steadfastness. There are times—perhaps at any age—when life circumstances overwhelm us. When we can’t bounce back, can’t regain our emotional footing, can’t find our former selves, can’t find the energy to start over from scratch. Too many difficulties, too little light at the end of too many tunnels, too few resources, too scarce options. We may still want to remain resilient—with all its desirable connections—but we may just run out of oomph.
These non-resilient moments may have come into your life; they’ve battered down my emotional doors a few times, too. So this abiding—and perhaps increasingly relevant—question comes to mind: What do we do when we’re out of emotional and physical fuel?
One abiding and relevant answer: Seek help in our God-given spiritual core. Resilience is a matter of brain cells and body chemistry, certainly. But these traits also have their roots in matters of faith, trust in God, belonging to the body of Christ, forgiveness and hope for deliverance. Whatever is spiritually alive in us doesn’t disappear easily. Our burdens can be lighter when we acknowledge the Spirit’s action in our lives.
Take time today to re-calibrate your spirit, with a prayer that springs toward God’s love.
With gratitude for resilience….
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