The Resilient

Rose

Resilient

/rı’zılıǝnt/ adj.

Able to withstand or recover quickly from difficult conditions.

Winter finally settled down on the UK. Over the past few weeks, we’ve had the blessing of enjoying some very unseasonably warm weather. I have laughed to myself many times as I read updates of snow in the southern United States. It was quite the opposite in little Hereford, Herefordshire.

One afternoon as I walked my usual route to town, I looked up above the fence line to see a rose peaking out in full bloom. I thought to myself, this is November! How are roses still alive? The clouds in the sky turned grey, warning of yet another rainstorm. And yet, there stood this rose, vibrant and strong.

It’s been nearly a month since I first saw that rose. I assumed it would be long gone by now. However, this morning, walking into town again, I passed that same fence and now three beautiful blooms replaced the one I saw a month ago. Despite the numerous heavy rains, the high winds and the frost, these roses stood firm.

I’ve thought back to that rose bush many times over the past few weeks. While life here in the UK is better than I could have ever imagined, I am not without moments of internal conflict. One way or another, winter always comes.

You could live in the most luxurious of circumstances and still wish you were elsewhere. Conversely, you can be in poverty and experience more joy than you ever expected. I believe that we all have the capacity to be resilient; the question is if you will make the choice to be.

All throughout the Bible, God chooses to use people out of their comfort zones. I believe he does so because he wants us to realize that he created humanity with a unique ability to weather storms with his help. Abraham overcame obstacle after obstacle, and though his life appeared to be full of opposition he became the father of many nations. Moses was too afraid to speak, but God called him to lead millions of Israelites to a promised land. Gideon would rather have hidden in the winepress for the rest of his life, but God called him out to defeat a massive army with only 300 men.

We can’t always escape the winter, but we can choose to trust God through it.

I believe that rose bush, in its DNA, had the ability to thrive. But I also know that someone was caring for it. Someone pruned it and nourished it. Whether you believe it or not, you are resilient at your core. But allowing someone to coach that resilience out of you is also key. God wants us to rely on his strength, to be fed by his Word, to be pruned by his correction, so in those times of trial we can stand strong.

Proverbs 3:5-6 tells us:

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” (ESV)

God doesn’t give us an eternal summer. I truly believe he wants us to see the beauty in all seasons of life. To be resilient in those dark winters we must look to him. Jesus reminds us in Matthew 6:30-34 not to worry about these seasons of trial. I am so encouraged by Jesus’ words:

“If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers—most of which are never even seen—don’t you think he’ll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you? … Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.” (The Message)

If God is for you, who can be against you (Romans 8:31)? You were made to be resilient, coached and cared for by your Father in Heaven who is before all things and in whom all things are held together (Colossians 1:17). Know that resilience is part of your God-given character. Make the choice to look to him and act in it. God loves you so much and wants to remind you that you can withstand the winter.

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