Wednesday, August 4, 2010


Resilience, a noun meaning
1.the power or ability to return to the original form, position, etc., after being bent, compressed, or stretched; elasticity.
2. ability to recover readily from illness, depression, adversity, or the like; buoyancy.
An interesting word resilience, often misspelled and misunderstood.  I was pondering resilience the other day while I was thinking about plants. God has created plants to be amazingly resilient and resourceful. An empty lot can turn into a field in a few short weeks. Most plants can recover from severe drought, blight and bug infestations. 

Take our roses for example. Last fall my rose plants were eaten down to the stems by grasshoppers. When the grasshoppers had their fill and moved on the plants were able to produce a few meager leaves before they were bedded down for the winter. I feared that they wouldn't survive the winter because they had expended so much energy saving themselves from the grasshoppers. Of our 15 rose bushes, only two were lost. The survivors have grown and blossomed beautifully. 

We have a tree peony that is approximately 35 years old. It was formerly part of the landscaping around the bandshell in Grandview Park. We have moved that tree peony each time we have moved. It is part of Sioux City history and is one of my husbands favorite plants. What makes the tree peony so special, besides where it came from, is it's life span. The average tree peony lives between 5 and 7 years. This plant has far exceeded it's time here and has been  uprooted four times. We didn't think it survived the harsh weather last winter, but very late last spring we saw a few leaves breaking forth from the dark soil. Rejoice! We were delighted to see it reappear. I don't believe it will blossom this year, but it has survived and has added another year to it's already record breaking long life.

What about the human spirit? Humans are even more amazing. One could pick ten people from any crowd and be awed at what some have endured in their lives. When you hear stories of people surviving disasters or losing children to cancer do you think, "I don't know how they go on, I couldn't bear it". Don't you suppose that those same people thought those same things about others before them? Yet they keep on going, day by day, minute by minute, breath by breath, until the unbearable weight gets lighter and they can carry on living the life they were meant to live. 

The majority of people I have talked to or read about say it is faith that helped them endure. Their knowledge that God was with them and would never forsake them held them together in times of trial. I would imagine the stories of healing are just as varied as the stories of tragedy. God made a promise in 1 Peter that explains a little about the resiliency of the human spirit:
And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. (1Peter 5:10)
The world and the devil may knock you down again and again, but God himself will restore you and return your strength if you allow Him to do so. What an amazing gift!  Him who created all things is also the source of resilience. Praise Jesus!

Gracious and heavenly Father, creator of all thing, thank you for all the gifts you give us. Thank you for the strength to stand when we feel like giving up. Thank you for all wonderful promises you have given us. Today I am especially thankful for your promise of restoration. Please take our broken places and restore them to full strength so we can glorify you by showing our resilience to others.
In the precious name of Jesus. Amen.
In His Peace - 

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