I am continuing on the subject of resiliency that I introduced last month. We live in the time in-between or the now but not yet. What I mean by that is that we live after Jesus physically lived on this earth and before he physically returns again. Bible scholars have called this the in-between time when God’s kingdom is both now and not yet. Remember Jesus’ words when he said “The Kingdom of God is near” and “the Kingdom is at hand.” He is speaking of the now-ness of God’s kingdom. Remember Jesus also said, “when you come into the kingdom.”
The first way to cultivate resilience is to recalibrate our imaginations that profound difficulty is a natural part of life. All of us face troubles. We are better when we face our troubles. As the singer/songwriter Randy Stonehill penned:
“Troubles, troubles – everyone has them, you know,
Troubles, troubles – don’t they come falling like snow?
Now, don’t you lose hope in the harder times, never lose sight of your dreams,
Troubles are shadows, they’re never as large as they seem.”
As the Apostle Paul wrote, “tribulation brings about perseverance…proven character, hope” (Rom. 5:4).
The second way to cultivate resilience is to form sites of hopefulness in the midst of despair. This is the “now” of Christian knowledge of the world. We are told that the present things face will pass away, giving way to a better day. “In Christ, you are a new creation, the old has passed away. Behold, new has come” (2 Cor. 5:17). This is the hope we cling to, the promise in which we remind each other. In Alcoholics Anonymous each day is participants’ “first day.” In Bible studies and prayer groups, we plant, water and cultivate seeds of hope.
The third way to cultivate resilience is to understand we do it together. As Americans we often think in terms of “going it alone” or “doing things on our own”. The Christian community is founded on hope. It’s very existence testifies to the fact of getting back up again is written in its DNA. And this hope we extend to each other whenever we are together (“Wherever two or more are gathered…there I am in the midst of them” Matt. 18:20). “For all of our troubles, we’re older and wiser today” (Randy Stonehill). Be resilient, my friend.
Pastor Peter J. Blank
May Newsletter: May 2015 for web