Esperance, a small city on Western Australia’s south coast, suffered horrendous bushfires in November 2015. Four people died as a result, and several hundred-thousand hectares of land were burned. Asked if the people of the shire had grown in resilience because of the adversity they’d suffered, the shire president said, “No! We were already resilient.” Councillor Victoria Brown is right. Resilience is not primarily something that grows.
The curious thing about resilience is we do not develop it as much as we display it.
Resilience stands as its own testimony of the strength of faith we exemplified in facing an extraneous hardship.
Resilience is nothing without a test. But suddenly, in the presence of a test, it appears or it’s lacking. It all depends on our response at the time, and, if factors within the situation coalesce, an unpredicted strength comes to the fore. Therefore, we should never write anyone off when life turns against them; they may well rise to the occasion, making that rock bottom incident the catalyst for something incredibly inspiring.
Resilience is a gift given in the heat of the blaze itself. As much as God’s enemy cranks up the heat, God supplies strength through faith to endure it.
This ‘resilience’ is the gospel in play in a person’s life, whether they attribute it to Jesus’ resurrection power or not.
The amazing thing about faith is this: through the power of the Holy Spirit we no longer have to accept that our failed efforts for change are wasted. We can impact anything in our lives that we find unacceptable if we have sufficient belief; through accepting resilience’s offer — a self-imposed exile of sacrifice to display resilience — we can change.
Believe for resilience. When life turns upside down, you’re in prime position to show what you’re made of: resilience. But don’t be fooled that resilience is strength in you being strong; it’s simply a strength that continues to believe in the goodness of God when life is at its worst; a robust strength in unparalleled weakness.
Until a bushfire crisis sweeps through our lives we do not know what resilience we have; how that very event will burn off cowardice for courage amid change.
Only in the moment of challenge is the catalyst for change truly revealed.
One thing we can do when life turns south: trust God despite our instinct to run or repel.