Resilience: Wear It Loud and Proud!
It has been a busy week. Traveling, training, coaching – long days and short nights. The life of an educator. But it’s all good. I didn’t get started on the blog as early as usual, but God always seems to provide the time and inspiration…even on an airplane!
I literally said out loud, “Lord, it’s late, and I’m tired. What do you want me to write about?” The first thought that came to my mind was “resilience.” I decided not to question Him, so resilience it is!
I began by doing a little research on resilience, and I found a description I really liked.
Resilience is the quality of being able to adapt to
stressful life changes and bouncing back from hardship.
Resilience is one of those admirable traits we all see in others but seldom identify in ourselves. I think this is partly because hardships (like this past year) leave us feeling depleted. When we feel run-down, we don’t feel resilient. Showing resilience, however, does not mean we are unaffected by life’s circumstances.
Resilience is simply our ability to suffer greatly and grow as a result. I suspect some might not characterize teaching during a pandemic as “suffering.” Certainly, it isn’t when compared to some of the personal losses families have faced as a result of the pandemic. However, I believe everyone would agree that teaching during a pandemic has been really difficult. It has required unprecedented resilience.
In case no one has told you lately, let me remind you just how resilient you are! Over the past few months, I have had the opportunity to work directly with numerous educators across the country. I am here to tell you that resilience is alive and well! There is so much we could be complaining about (e.g., CDC guidelines, COVID outbreaks, disparaging comments, unrealistic expectations), but I have not heard grumbling from educators. Instead, let me tell you what I have witnessed.
I have seen teachers spend extra hours planning for face-to-face, virtual, and hybrid instruction to ensure all students are learning despite the ongoing challenges.
I have seen teachers not give up on students who seem to be missing in action, some even going to children’s homes to check up on them.
I have seen teachers repeatedly contact parents to calm their fears and provide encouragement.
I have seen teachers juggle their own sickness and their own family’s needs and still show up to school with smiles on their faces.
I have seen teachers loving kids, caring for parents, and extending grace.
The more I think about resilience, the more convinced I have become that resilience should be the norm for Bible believing Christians. Why? Because Jesus told us, despite the trouble we will face, we can have peace. We can be resilient because He has overcome this world (John 16:33). Resilience is part of who we are, and with resilience comes opportunities.
· Opportunities to grow.
Dear brothers and sisters, when trouble of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So, let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing. James 1:2-4
· Opportunities to demonstrate our faith.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your path.Proverbs 4:5-6
For though the righteous fall seven times, they rise again, but the wicked stumble when calamity strikes.Proverbs 24:16
· Opportunities to demonstrate God’s power.
We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves. We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed but not driven to despair. We are hunted down but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed. 2 Corinthians 4:7-9
· Opportunities to store up treasures in heaven.
No dear brothers, I have not achieved it but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us. Philippians 3:13-15
· Opportunities to encourage others.
So, encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing. 1 Thessalonians 5:11
Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise. Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near. Hebrews 10:23-25
We who are in Christ ARE resilient. God gives us the power to bounce back, to adapt, and to thrive during stressful times when we don’t know what lies ahead. Claim your resilience! Wear it loud and proud! Not only will you point others to Jesus, but you will be stronger, prepared, and ready for whatever the future holds.
Therefore, we do not lose hope. Though outwardly we are wasting away, inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! So, we don’t look at trouble we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but things we cannot see will last forever. 2 Corinthians 4:16-18