Growing in Hope During Seasons of Infirmity
Fellow Resilient Warrior Randy,
Avoiding bitterness is key to a healthy and joyful life. Bitterness is the poison we drink to kill someone else — how crazy is that! In our culture of microaggressions, safe spaces, and trigger warnings; bitterness has grown to epidemic proportions with many carrying a “Spirit of Offense” into every life encounter. God’s primary antidotes for bitterness are forgiveness and gratitude.

In this edition, we will begin a discussion about how to avoid bitterness, achieving forgiveness, gratitude, and hope. In particular, our essay depicts the challenges faced by those who must face long term infirmity. As usual, we will also highlight a Resilience Resource and provide a Bounce Builder from the Resilience God Style Training Game.

My prayer for each of us continues to be that we might learn and model Christ-like resilience as we navigate the storms of life and help others do the same. In particular, I pray for those of you (or friends and family) who must struggle with long term pain. May God comfort, heal, and instill you with hope and peace that pass all understanding. Jesus said, “In the world you will have tribulation, but take courage, I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33) Resilience God Style allows us to be the overcomers which God intended us to be.

Respectfully in Christ,

Bob Dees
Gaining Altitude
As we grow older, if we are growing spiritually, we grow in HOPE.
If not, we grow in BITTERNESS.

-Jerry White-
Growing in Hope During Seasons of Infirmity
by Bob Dees

Whether you and I are eight, eighteen, or eighty; we will encounter physical infirmity – short term illness or recovery from injury, or perhaps a long-term medical condition that becomes our constant companion. While we are exhorted to “give thanks in all things,” this is often easier said than done. The reality is that each morning when we wake up, we are at a mental, emotional, and spiritual “fork in the road” regarding the day ahead of us. We can plod through the day with ingratitude and even bitterness for the physical maladies we face, or we can lean into God, embrace our human infirmities, and grow in gratitude, joy, and hope.


So what makes the difference?


In Resilience God Style, I have provided many ways we can be resilient through the various storms of life. One relevant quote comes from Jerry White, “As we grow older, if we are growing spiritually, we grow in hope. If we do not continue to grow spiritually, we grow in bitterness.” (RGS, pg 75) This is very true, whether over a lifetime or in the span of one day. The spiritual spark that ignites a positive and productive day comes from God Himself. Hence, each day a first priority must be to seek God first (Matt 6:33). As we 

“Draw near to God and He will draw near to you…” (James 4:8), we can experience fullness of joy in His presence (Psalm 16:11). This is how we avoid bitterness each day, and for a lifetime.


Personally, this conversation has become very relevant as I recently recovered from a total knee replacement over the Christmas holidays. While I am grateful for excellent medical care, I have also allowed the cycle of pain, prescription drugs, and restrictions on freedom of movement to sometimes diminish my “joy factor.” While not comparable to the adversity many of you are facing, this “season of infirmity” has given me far more compassion for those who live with greater pain and long-term physical maladies, along with the accompanying unseen mental, emotional, and spiritual challenges. I now possess even greater appreciation for the difficulty of staying “on azimuth” spiritually in the midst of physical infirmity.


Now for the audience participation phase! What are your thoughts?


Are you in a “season of infirmity?”


How do you maintain an “attitude of gratitude,” despite living with illness or injury? Or, it may simply be dealing with the realities of aging.


Is there a particular “spiritual spark” that often shapes the rest of your day?


Do you have an example that totally changed the trajectory of your day, or your life?


Give our Resilience God Style community your thoughts. They will be glad you did.
May we all be Resilient – God Style!

What do YOU think?


Share your COMMENTS.

Resilience Resource

This week’s Resilience Resource is Resilience God Style. This book sets forth the Resilience Life Cycle to describe the BEFORE- DURING- AFTER- LEARN & ADAPT phases of the storms in our lives. 
The accompanying RGS Study Guide, Video Series, and Training Games provide additional tools to understand and apply life changing principles of spiritual resilience.

Bounce Builder

Part of avoiding bitterness and “Fleeing a Spirit of Offense” is reacting in Godly manner to the words and actions of others.

Here’s A Resilience Training Game Question that gives some useful guidance.

How would your team answer this question???

Suggested Answer: 1) Seeking to understand first is an important principle of communication. 2) The habit (or reflex) of not listening, interrupting others, and quickly becoming angry disrupts relationships and shuts down communication. 3) Developing good listening skills, thinking before we speak, and avoiding “hot reactions” is a valuable life skill (reflex) in any situation of life.

Source: Resilience God Style Study Guide, Appendix 4, “Fleeing the Spirit of Offense.”

From the Mailbox

I love that you are providing a safe place for people to share their story. Thank you for such a Godly guide full of wisdom, guidance and hope.

~ Tammie

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