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Hearing stories of folks who have lost everything rolling up their sleeves and rebuilding their lives in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey has caused me to think a lot about resilience. How is it that some people can persevere through horrible trials and yet others fall apart at the first hint of a crisis?
The people who keep going in the midst of trouble are resilient. But why are some people resilient and others not? Researchers say that resilient people have some factors in common: close relationships, good problem-solving and coping skills, ability to manage feelings and reframe past hurts, ability and willingness to seek help. They possess a sense of purpose, practice forgiveness, help others, and have a sense of hopefulness.
There are spiritual factors that affect one’s ability to survive tough circumstances, too. I’ve noticed that resilient people understand that happiness is a transient feeling that we experience when everything is going our way. It is not something to which we are entitled. They understand that it is our God of second chances seeking and bringing our hearts into union with Him that is the source of deep and lasting joy.
Being resilient does not depend on our circumstances or genetics. It is the love of God that is in Jesus Christ our Lord that enables us to be resilient. When we have fellowship with each other, when we fill ourselves with God’s word, when we pray, when we serve in the name of Jesus, we overflow with joy that may be shared. We can then look for good in others, find hope in every situation, and be thankful.
“…yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior. The Sovereign Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to go on the heights” (Habakkuk 3:18-19).
The Rev. Carol BrooksSupport Groups & Crisis Care
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