A pretty busy day for me. I began with a morning breakfast where Steve House, the Chair of the State Republican Party spoke. Steve did a great job sharing his efforts over the last eleven weeks in office and plans for the future.
This week I begin my three Chiropractic appointments per week. Today included some exercises that I will do before each treatment. After returning home Steve Grimes came by to look at modifying our handicap ramp. It is great to feel like I am at the point where I don’t need a full ramp for mobility purposes. He also helped rehang some doors that had to be removed so I could navigate some rooms. I told him those type of projects are simple, but significant markers in my road to recovery.
I had an appointment with my primary care doctor. I have a mole that has been growing above my right eyebrow the past several weeks. She took one look and told me it was a “basil cell carcinoma.” These forms of skin cancer are not usually serious, but the location she said was close to a nerve that effects the eyelid, so she did not want to touch it. While she expressed some regret over not being able to “cut on me” she was more comfortable with a referral to a dermatologist.
After a late afternoon, HOA board commitment, I have a meeting this evening. I might arrive late and leave early at this point.
BIBLE VERSE FOR TODAY… “We are often troubled, but not crushed; sometimes in doubt, but never in despair; there are many enemies, but we are never without a friend; and though badly hurt at times, we are not destroyed.” 2 Corinthians 4:8.9
The recent edition of “Time” magazine (June 1, 2015), contains an article on resilience, simply entitled, “Bounce Back.” Resilience is a hallmark of the Christian life. We are to be those who overcome the circumstances of life and not be overwhelmed by the circumstances of life.
I recall in my youth a vinyl blow up boxing toy. It was weighted on the bottom and when you hit it, it would immediately bounce back and take some more, and bounce back again. That is they type of tenacity the Lord desires to build into each of our lives.
The “Time” magazine article contains a list of “Expert Tips for Resilience.” The experts can tell you what you need, they just fall short in telling you how to acquire what you need. For that we can turn to God’s Word. Here we go…
1. Develop a core set of beliefs that nothing can shake.
Paul said, “…Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.“ (1 Corinthians 15:58) Paul said with confidence, “…I know the one in whom I trust, and I am sure that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him until the day of his return.” (2 Timothy 1:12) A solid faith in Jesus Christ is foundation on which you can build your life. I didn’t grow up on a church where the “Apostle’s Creed” was part of our worship. But those core foundational truths are important to rehearse.
2. Try to find meaning in whatever stressful or traumatic thing has happened.
“We know that in all things God works for good with those who love him, those whom he has called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28) What a perfect application for this well known verse. I am also reminded of Joseph’s perspective of his enslavement and alienation from his family, “…you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good…” (Genesis 50:20)
3. Try to maintain a positive outlook.
“…being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 1:6) I am also reminded of the promise of Philippians 4:19,20 “…all his abundant wealth through Christ Jesus, my God will supply all your needs. To our God and Father be the glory forever and ever! Amen.” The Lord does provide “strength for today, bright hope for tomorrow” as we trust in Him.
4. Take cues from someone who is especially resilient.
When I think of those we can look to, I think of Paul and I think of Jesus. Perhaps there are others in the Bible or your circle of friends that come to your mind. Paul told the Philippians, “Put into practice what you learned and received from me, both from my words and from my actions. And the God who gives us peace will be with you.” (Philippians 4:9) “…for Christ himself suffered for you and left you an example, so that you would follow in his steps.” (1 Peter 2:21)
5. Don’t run from things that scare you: face them!
What a great time to remind ourselves, “But you belong to God, my dear children. You have already won a victory…because the Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world.“ (1 John 4:4)
“So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the LORD your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you.” (Deuteronomy 31:6) One of the most often repeated words of encouragement in scripture is, “fear not.” I like Isaiah 41:10 – “Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.“ The promises to be with us, He cares for us, He will go before us, He will strengthen us, so that whatever is of concern and creates anxiety in our life we can trust Him to help, guide and direct us.
There are five more in the list and we will look at those tomorrow. Just these five can bring a sense of faith and confidence in the Lord as we are “knocked” down by life. Through the strength of the Lord we can bounce back strong and victorious.