The strength you have

I think it was around this time last year that we were thinking the world would begin shifting back to normal by now. If 2020’s lesson was PIVOT, 2021’s is resilience.

We’ve come to realise that the certainty we took for granted is now a commodity in short supply. Black and white decisions are being replaced by grey decisions more and more. Building resilience is what enables us to live well in our new world. But how do we do that?

One way is to shift our perspective. Each day, our staff meets for devotions and prayer, even when we go into lockdown. In today’s devotion, one verse locked in my head. We were reading from Judges 6 where God’s angel speaks with Gideon. In response to Gideon’s doubt, the Angel of the Lord says, “Go in the strength you have…” Those six words have been ringing in my head all day. Go in the strength you have. Doesn’t that shift in perception enable resilience to grow? I think so. I see it in our partners each week as I compare NZ’s COVID+ environment to theirs. For many, they would love the consistency we’ve had over the last year. Some have been in lockdown for most of the year and have watched their country go through wave after wave of infection. Yet, they are incredibly resilient and find strength and motivation to continue their ministry in new ways. I suspect ‘Going in the strength they have’ combined with faith that God is there too is what gives them resilience.

There’s another perception shift that can help too. Throughout COVID, it’s natural for me to think of what I need to do for self-care. Recently, in another devotion we did in the office based on Sheridan Voysey’s book, Resilience, he challenged us to pray the Lord’s prayer but personify it for those around you – coworkers, neighbours, customers, etc. When you insert people’s names into the Lord’s Prayer, it shifts your perception. I found I was less concerned about my care needs and began to see what others might need.

Our prayer is that you’d be reminded of the ‘strength you have.’

— Rob Reynolds