Resilience Begins with an R (and R)

We all need R and R occasionally. Rest and recovery.

These two are essential to our ability to be resilient in a very tough world. My definition of a resilient Christ-follower is this: “I’m not easily damaged when hit, stretched, or squeezed. I will bounce back to my God-designed shape.”

Let’s be honest. Life is constantly trying to beat us up, stretch us beyond recognition, or squeeze the life-blood out of us. That’s just being real.

Do we want to merely survive, or do we want to thrive? The ability to bounce back under tough conditions is not only critical to surviving, it’s even more critical to actually thriving in life. Stress will be present almost every day. But stress cannot do any lasting damage to us if we are careful to get spiritual rest and recovery.

Jesus tells us how to obtain this, and Matthew, a former tax-collector (imagine the stresses and pressures he had once endured) reports Jesus’ words to us. Spiritual R and R happens when we come to him. Jesus will provide us with rest for our souls. And what rest or recovery could be more important than that?

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30, NIV).

Jesus, help me to follow you with resilience. Remind me in the midst of many stresses and pressures–when I’m being beaten up, squeezed and stressed–to run to you for recovery. Thank you for promising to give me rest. Thank you for your gentle, humble heart toward me.

Our reading for Wednesday, January 14, is Genesis 29:1 – 30:43, Matthew 11:16-30 and Psalm 9:7-12.

Header image based on "Shepherd Takes Knee" by U.S. Army, CC by 2.0