from difficult people, and
from painful events.
This one simple response begins to build stability into our spiritual lives.
I surprise some who know me when I tell them how quickly I get discouraged and spiral down. My first reflex is often to run and hide. Many are surprised because they view stability as one of my strong points.
I’m learning to bounce well.
Perhaps you may respond better to attacks in life than I do. You may not have as much need to bounce well since you don’t spiral down as often as me. For me, when waves of life crash over me without warning, they usually knock me around, thrusting me downward like a powerful undertow. I get discouraged as I bounce off the abrasive sands of trials.
I’m learning to become more resilient
…like the super-balls from my youth (now called bouncy balls). Have you ever wondered why some balls bounce higher than others? It has a lot to do with its elasticity, how well they respond when a force hits them. When a highly elastic ball hits the ground it gets compressed or squished. Because it’s elastic though, it quickly returns to its original shape, thrusting itself back up.
…like my favorite “pet,” Weeble-Wobble. If you don’t know my wonderful pet Weeble. I take him everywhere with me. Google “Weeble-Wobble” if you don’t know my pet. My initial, knee-jerk response may often be discouragement, yet I now bounce well through my chosen secondary responses…and often quickly.
My spiritual resiliency and elasticity…
…in adversity grows stronger so I bounce back more quickly. Growing maturity is not marked by perfection, but progress in the right direction. When I struggle (not “if”!), I now (a) become aware more quickly, (2) investigate to identify the problem more promptly and (b) respond or do something about it more swiftly.
When I think of bounce well, I’m not thinking about how to avoid trials or tough times. Good luck with that strategy! Pain and suffering are part and parcel of our lives in a fallen world. Trials and loss are normal for followers of Jesus who desire to live godly (2 Timothy 3:12). Let’s learn a healthy Biblical theology of how God uses pain and suffering to form us into our highest and best.
Weeble gets slapped around by life, yet quickly stands upright again. In fact, my pet’s reputation is: “Weeble wobbles but does not fall.”
What is Weeble’s inner secret?
Weeble is heavily weighted at its foundation. When life assaults, he wobbles a bit, but does not fall. Circumstances in life may knock us down, yet not out as we learn to bounce well. My “pet” reminds me of two essential truths from Scripture that have helped me learn to bounce well.
First, develop a solid, weighty center.
My pet Weeble teaches me the importance of laying a solid, weighted center in my life. This weighty base from Scripture also re-calibrates our inner spiritual compass. I’m still very much in-process after forty+ years walking with Christ. And I’m also determined to continue growing as a lifelong life-learner and-doer.
Second, embrace a view of our God who gives us permission to wobble for a time.
After being slammed by life, Weeble gives me permission to wobble for a time before I stand firm. I don’t have to beat myself up for wavering. Weeble keeps smiling! Honestly facing my emotions are crucial to spiritual growth. Please don’t view your emotions though as an accurate reflection of Reality. Our inner affections are rather crucial pointers that shout, “Something is happening!” Quickly respond to this early warning signal, engage your mind by partnering with the Spirit in Scripture to discern what is happening.
The Analogy of an Allergy
It’s not unusual to pick up physical allergies as we walk through life. And it’s similar with spiritual “allergies.”
My wife had devoured nuts all her life without problems. However, when we were in Germany, my wife developed a severe allergy to her favorite food. One nut and her glands swelled up around her eyes. She looked like she had been in a street fight. One of the best allergists in Germany gave her no hope, except shots to control her allergic reactions.
When we returned to the States, a friend introduced us to a holistic Doctor who had freed many people from allergies. However, in order to focus on nuts, the Doctor first needed to clear any allergies in a ten-element baseline essential to support healthy life. First Fran needed a healthy physical baseline. Once Fran had a healthy baseline in these ten elements, her body operated in a state of higher health to naturally support vibrant life. Then the Doctor could remove the nut allergy because her body was in a healthier state to assist.
I write to provide a healthy spiritual DNA as a baseline.
Our physical makeup imitates God’s spiritual design. Our spiritual lives operate in a state of higher spiritual health when we lay a solid foundation of life-essentials. God fashioned us as highly interconnected beings, fearfully and wonderfully made.
We understand allergies a bit, right?
For example, we discover that our physical body is Vitamin C deprived. This causes serious long-term health problems. However, we are pounding Vitamin C rich fruits and veggies and top supplements.
What has gone wrong?
Our body is allergic to Vitamin C, rejecting what is essential for health. Some chain of events or associations in the past have wired memories that have falsely re-programmed our brain. These destructive cellular memories miscalculate that Vitamin C is a threat to the well-being of our body. Vitamin C is ingested, and our brain erroneously deploys its soldiers. “Destroy the enemy, Vitamin C. Disrupt the body so badly that Vitamin C will not be ingested.”
After exposing and clearing the deceptive physical allergy, a new level of physical health is available because our body can now assimilate Vitamin C.
It’s the same in the spiritual realm.
Flood your life with spiritual nutrition that releases and supports spiritual health. Then if you have a spiritual “allergic reaction,” clear the spiritual allergy so assimilation of the good, spiritual nutrients naturally flows again.
“Perception is reality” is certainly a lie.
However, we often respond based on our false perceptions, not on Reality. These following sample nutritional truths lay down building blocks to transform our minds so we see life more accurately (Romans 12:1-2; Ephesians 4:23). Growth comes by adjusting our reality to God-Reality. Align our mind-set with God and restore spiritual health to everyday life.
BTW, Fran eats nuts today with no negative impact so we can clear allergies permanently.
A 50-year old acquaintance just returned from his allergy testing and gushed:
“I’ve lived 40 years with essential physical elements in my life at 10% of capacity. I adapted and thought I was leading a normal life. I can hardly believe the energy and health I now have since my baseline allergies have been removed.”
Similar to our physical life, for good health we don’t focus on sickness. We acknowledge it, take our medicine regularly, and refocus on what releases health. In the spiritual realm, our focus is on our relational God and His connected relationship with His people. This focus releases the abundance of His light and love and life, even though at times we must deal with allergic attacks. Light dispels darkness. Health overcomes sickness. Love overcomes apathy.
For some of you, this will be a spiritual tune-up. After 40+ years, I still regularly “tune up” my spiritual life. For others, you may identify a missing element that has caused you to crash for years. Health is then awaiting!
Following are two resources that will help you to bounce well. Both headings are a hyperlink to the webpage.
After a bout with physical sickness, my immune system is run down. My physical protocol is: extra rest, pound water, eat well, extra vitamin supplements…and lots of rest. Since the physical often imitates the spiritual, this is also crucial spiritually after a bout with a besetting sin or a particularly intense ministry.
“Put on” as an immediate event to fill the empty place where we “put off.” Then soak in spiritual nutrition as a daily practice.
Over the years, I have gathered key passages that release life in me. I call them my “deep wells” of spiritual refreshment. I soak in these passages and ideas from God’s Love-Letter. These sow in me the culture Jesus brought with Him. Because God designed us to worship, “we become what we behold.” The NT calls us to intentionally set our minds on this rich body of spiritual nutrition (2 Corinthians 3:17-18 and Philippians 4:8 as examples).
When I struggle, I return to these quickly for a long drink of refreshing spiritual water to revive my inner man. The first three of mine follow. Go to Flood our Life with Spiritual Nutrition for other key concepts that you may pursue. My encouragement is to “master” these foundational elements now before you battle the winds and waves of trials. Sailors learn to sail in normal weather, so they are prepared for the storms. Here are the first three.
- Three Essential Questions
- “What Is God Like?” (Genesis 1):
- “How Does God See Me Now?” (Genesis 1-2+3):
Second: Exchange God’s Truth for your Lie
Become aware of the lie or deceit, investigate with God’s Love-Letter to know what truth we are missing, then do it. Actively put truth into action to encounter life. This enables you to disengage from the lie, so you are again able to soak in God’s truth and grow.
Then marinate in spiritual nutrition.
The physical often imitates the spiritual.
Look at the universe. Nature abhors a vacuum. Something will rush in to fill any vacuum. When we “put off” something that disrupts our spiritual life, we must quickly “put on” Christ and what is true and good in order to “renew our minds.” (Ephesians 4:22-24). We “put off” the lie and exchange truth for it as we intentionally “put on” the rich spiritual nutrition of truth. If we don’t fill the house we have cleaned, we unintentionally grant the dark forces of evil permission to come back seven times stronger. Take Jesus’ words to heart (Luke 11:24-26 with the context in 11:14-23).
Perhaps you may not spiral down with every one of the following list of attacks.
Even if you don’t, others you come across may, so perhaps these would be helpful as you serve. Until the basic building blocks of our thinking and feeling and doing are transformed (our heart, the core of our being), it’s common to begin with our own history of sin, brokenness or pain.
I will keep these free PDF short, yet not simplistic. Responses will flow from Scripture, many for the list of Spiritual Nutrition yet also with actionable life-responses that the Spirit of God may use to activate truth to encounter life. Learn to soak in our weighty base as your life focus. Then you will become more quickly aware of a specific life-problem to learn to bounce well.
Add comments to this web page to let me know how I can address this limited list better or add your own suggested topic. I would like this to be interactive since we need each other to live loved.
- Print out the free PDF of this page if you want to think more deeply on it (click here).
- Go to Flood our Life with Spiritual Nutrition and begin strengthening these as your life focus.
- If you consciously struggle now in an arena, go to the web page Exchange God’s Truth for your Lie and see which comes closest. Print the free PDF and partner with the Spirit to work it through.