So let us not grow weary in doing what is right, for we will reap at harvest time, if we do not give up. (Galatians 6:9)
Resilience is a key to whether one thrives in this life, or merely survives. I am reading the book, Leadership: In Turbulent Times, by Doris Kearns Goodwin. Goodwin conveys the tragedies that four of our finest Presidential leaders experienced before, during and after their Presidencies. The four Presidents she addresses are: Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin Roosevelt, and Lyndon Johnson.
Abraham Lincoln suffered from near suicidal depression that negatively affected his professional life and shook his personal identity. Theodore Roosevelt experienced the death of his young wife and mother on the same day. Franklin Roosevelt was struck by polio which left him paralyzed from the waist down. Even Lyndon Johnson was not free of pain. He lost a Senate race, which devastated him to the point that he considered walking away from public life. This stress led to a massive heart attack. Only after contemplating his own death was he able to recommit to the life he felt he was born to live.
One of the aspects of true Leadership is the ability to overcome adversity. The same is true of Christian commitment. Each one of us will experience an overwhelmingly painful challenge. The question we will face is whether we will give up, like Lyndon Johnson almost did, or will we follow his and the other three Presidents’ examples, and pull ourselves up and keep on moving forward.
The difference between those who make a difference for God, and those who don’t, often comes down to who is willing to get up and try again. Today, think about those moments when you didn’t give up. Where did you get your strength? What persons were there for you? How did God provide opportunities to find renewed hope? There are moments in each of our lives, when God will call us to leadership. You will need to overcome adversity to successfully lead. God will give you the ability to overcome. Trust God enough to get up, brush yourself off, and try yet again. God will bless your courage!