As we are all adjusting to the current circumstances we can’t help but think of how life will be after the pandemic is over. There are many stories in life where you see people or organizations coming back stronger than pre-crisis, and many stories of people or organizations that never fully recover. As I think about this, it makes me look for examples of what it takes to have the resilience to recover quickly from tough situations.
When thinking of resilience, I automatically think of Joseph as a great example in how he was able to live his life and recover from tough situations. We see that Joseph was a person who endured many hardships. He was sold by his brothers into slavery, where he worked hard and excelled in all of his work, and was still unjustly imprisoned. He was also a person who achieved great things in his life, was able to save his family and Egypt from a famine, was quick to forgive, and did not abuse his power.
As you evaluate Joseph’s life you can’t help but notice how resilient he was. While he had a lot of good characteristics such as faithfulness, good principles, and discipline, you may realize that he was able to achieve what he did because he took a balanced approach to whatever circumstances he experienced – even if they were unfair. Had he been an extreme person, as many people are today, he wouldn’t have been able to help save his family from the famine, as he likely would have had too many hard feelings. Had he been an extreme person, he wouldn’t have been willing to interpret dreams that would benefit the Pharaoh, who unjustly imprisoned him, and he would not have been restored from prison.
The lessons that we can learn from studying Joseph’s life are always important, but have become more important now than ever before. As we are currently going through a time where extreme views are shared rapidly through every means, we need to remember that these extremes lead only to destruction. Being extremely one-sided in your views has a lot of downsides. For instance, it takes away our ability to be flexible and adjust to the circumstances that life brings and in turn takes away our ability to be resilient.
So, as we are adjusting to all of the circumstances around us, let’s keep working on the things that will help us have flexible, balanced, and resilient lives that God can work through. Let’s not spend every penny we earn, but keep some money aside for a rainy day – like Joseph recommended to Pharaoh. Let’s not book every minute of our day with meetings, events, gatherings, etc., and let’s have some down time to refresh our minds and spend time in God’s Word so that when an opportunity to serve Him presents itself we can be ready. Let’s not continue to hold the hard feelings we have towards specific people who have wronged us, and let’s work to rebuild the relationships – even if we weren’t the ones who broke them down, as Joseph did with his brothers.
It’s through this type of balanced and resilient lifestyle that we will be able to get past the pandemic and get back to serving God in the capacity that He has in store for us. However, those people who continue to drag along all of their pre-pandemic baggage (anger, frustrations, unforgiveness), are unfortunately the ones that won’t have the capacity to be resilient and come back better than before.