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Resilient: Restoring Your Weary Soul in These Turbulent Times

Compiled by Chuck Olson

Title: Resilient: Restoring Your Weary Soul in These Turbulent Times

Author: John Eldredge

Copyright: 2022

At the get-go, best-selling author John Edredge in his most recent book Resilient: Restoring Your Weary Soul in These Turbulent Times, serves up this sobering diagnosis: Right now we’re in a sort of global denial about the actual cost of these hard years (which are not over). We just want to get past it all, so we’re currently trying to comfort ourselves with some sense of recovery and relief. But folks, we haven’t yet paid the psychological bill for all we’ve been through. From there, he offers wisdom and insights about how to build resiliency into our daily lives—the kind that Christ provides.

I found this book to be eye-opening, helping me connect the dots in a more thoughtful way in view of all we have been through over these unprecedented days. I believe you will find the same. Check out these Book Notes to get a taste of what this book is all about.

Chuck Olson Signature

Chuck Olson
Founder | Lead With Your Life

Book Description:
Between false promises of ease and comfort on one side and the sheer trauma of global disease and disasters on the other, people today are facing a shortage of peace, happiness, and strength. In Resilient, Eldredge reveals a path toward genuine recovery and resilience through Jesus himself.

Drawing on wisdom from Scripture and Christian tradition, and illustrated throughout with powerful, true stories of grit and survival, Resilient will help you:

Recover from the trauma of the COVID-19 pandemic

Tap into the river of life that God promises his people

Learn to be patient with yourself–genuine recovery from spiritual and emotional trauma takes time and intentionality

Create a plan to foster resilience in your day-to-day life

Discover deep wells of freedom and strength through Christ who lives within us

Thriving requires a resilient soul. This book will help you find the resilience you long for when the world has gone mad–and discover in Jesus himself the strength that prevails.

Book Quotes:

Right now we’re in a sort of global denial about the actual cost of these hard years (which are not over). We just want to get past it all, so we’re currently trying to comfort ourselves with some sense of recovery and relief. But folks, we haven’t yet paid the psychological bill for all we’ve been through. LOCATION: 259

Follow me closely now. To be suddenly stripped of your normal life; to live under the fear of suffering and death; to be bombarded with negative news, kept in a state of constant uncertainty about the future, with no clear view of the finish line; and to lose every human countenance behind a mask—may I point out that this is exactly the torment that terrorist regimes use to break down prisoners psychologically and physically? Folks, this had a traumatic effect, and we’ve got to plan for our recovery and find new resilience. LOCATION: 271

The epicenter of our being is the deep longing to aspire for things that bring us life, to plan for those things, to take hold of them, to enjoy them, and start the cycle over as we aspire toward new things! This is the essential craving for life given to us by God. Let’s call this capacity the Primal Drive for Life. LOCATION: 313

We tap into our deep reserves to endure years of suffering and deprivation. Then one day our heart simply says, I don’t care anymore; I’m done. We abandon the fight and go off to find relief. I fear this is what’s happening now on a global scale. LOCATION: 361

Human beings are at the same time both resilient and unpredictably fragile, like camels. A better test for how vulnerable we may actually be is to check on our reserves. LOCATION: 363

Like I said—we have not yet paid the psychological bill for the COVID-19 pandemic. We tapped deep into our reserves to rally, and we are in no condition to face more trauma…let alone the assaults of our enemy. Trauma sensitizes you to more trauma and brings to the surface past trauma. You don’t get used to it; each new crisis simply piles on the stress. LOCATION: 385

The great alarm the Scriptures are sounding is that our longing for life to be good again will be the battleground for our heart. How you shepherd this precious longing, and if you shepherd it at all, will determine your fate in this life and in the life to come. LOCATION: 411

The first stage of the coming storm is this: we’ve all run off to find life and joy following years of stress, trauma, and deprivation. But it isn’t working; it won’t ever work. We return to our normal Monday through Friday disappointed, and disappointment will become disillusionment. And disillusionment makes us extremely vulnerable to our enemy. LOCATION: 416

God wants to make his life available to you. Remember—he’s the creator of those beautiful places you wish you could go to for a sabbatical. All that beauty and resilience, all that life comes from God, and he wants to impart a greater measure of himself to you! The life of God is described in Scripture as a river—a powerful, gorgeous, unceasing, ever-renewing, ever-flowing river. LOCATION: 432

Unflappable Jesus, the most level-headed guy ever, simply refused to get baited into any of the drama of his own day. And he urges us to be unflappable too. Jesus knew that everything was going to be shouting for our attention, trying to get us all “spun up.” This injustice, that exposé. The message shouted at us from every side is, “Get upset! You really ought to be upset about this!” It wears a soul down. And there is a way out. LOCATION: 524

We are living in a story, friends. A story written and being unfolded by the hand of God. Despite what the world is shouting at you, the story of God is still the story of the world. This is the hardest thing to hang on to, and the most important thing to hang on to: the story of God is still the story of the world. LOCATION: 536

The story of God, the story of Jesus Christ has been, is now, and always will be the story of the world. This is so important for the friends of God to keep in front of us; it’s one of those things to put on a sticky note on your refrigerator or bathroom mirror: the story of God has been, is now, and always will be the story of the world. LOCATION: 565

It’s possible that by the time you read this sentence, the gospel will have reached all nations. That ought to get your attention! It isn’t the only sign Christ gave us, but it’s one of the most significant. Which means the promised return is near. Very near. I am not predicting dates, folks. I’m simply pointing out that the story of God is sweeping toward a climax. LOCATION: 628

Remember—the battle right now is for the narrative; who gets to frame the story for you? Either it will be God, or someone else. If you are “alarmed,” something has drawn your attention away from the story of God. Let your fears, anxieties, anger, or rage alert you that you’ve been taken hostage; stop and get your bearings. LOCATION: 666

The pandemic was an apocalypse in the true meaning of the word—it revealed many things about us and our world. We don’t like much of what it uncovered, including the fact that we are not as resilient as we thought we were when things were going smoothly. LOCATION: 789

Christians are designed to live in and enjoy the benefits of two ecosystems, two realities—the physical and the spiritual, the earth and the heavens. Each world offers graces for human flourishing. The natural world is saturated with beauty, and beauty nourishes the human soul. That’s why we vacation in lovely places—when we’re looking to be renewed, we choose walks in the woods, swimming in the ocean, biking through vineyards, music, and dinner on the patio under the stars. There are many natural graces that nourish and strengthen the heart and soul—beauty is one, stillness is another, and so are nature and disentangling from technology… LOCATION: 919

We are also created to live comfortably in the spiritual world, to draw upon the supernatural graces available to us through the rest of God’s wonderful kingdom. LOCATION: 925

The goal of Christian faith is so much more than church attendance or holding certain doctrinal beliefs. The destiny of every human soul is union with God. LOCATION: 1260

Survival situations bring out the best and the worst in people. Who we are, what we love, and how far we are willing to trust God are revealed when we are truly hard pressed. LOCATION: 1301

In his famous song “Imagine,” John Lennon offered a vision of a world made new. Millions of people loved that song. It sounded so beautiful—we can make a world of peace and brotherhood: no possessions, no war, no hatred. Flower power. It was so alluring. Many thought it was the realization of their heart’s deepest desires. But it was a colossal disaster. Lennon tapped into a childlike kingdom longing, fueled by adolescent rebellion. Notice that Lennon wanted no heaven, no hell, no religion. There’s no place for God in Lennon’s Eden. (It’s important to pay attention to everything a false prophet is saying.) He wanted the kingdom without the King. This runs deep in human nature. It was sown in us by the evil one himself, back at the fall of mankind when we chose life over God, and it is utterly and thoroughly demonic. LOCATION: 1524

The governments of this world are growing dangerously oppressive. We can no longer agree as a society on what is good and evil. There’s no consensus on what human beings were made to be, how we should live. So the fight for justice has collapsed into heavy-handed policies for every human being to live any way they want, no matter how far from what God created us to be. If you attempt to stand against these movements, you will be crucified with a sort of self-righteous vengeance that has the tones of religious persecution. I’m only bringing this up because Jesus warned us about it. LOCATION: 1541

No matter how promising an idea sounds, if God’s not in it, you don’t want to be in it either. LOCATION: 1557

The great and terrible Falling Away—that human landslide of weary and bitter hearts—is filled with people who have reached the point where their hearts have simply decided to settle for relief without the King. I’ll take some happiness now, thank you very much, and whatever to the King. It’s that subtle, and that awful. We could call it the Great Spiritual Resignation. The landslide is seen in the rising number of Christians, many young people included, who are either walking away from God or exchanging their Christianity for a more universalist faith. LOCATION: 1581

The God of the open ocean dwells inside of me. His power is mine to draw upon. This is Christianity as it could be: For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being. (Ephesians 3:14–16) LOCATION: 1714

I call these layers of our being the Shallows, Midlands, and Depths. The Shallows of our being are characterized and ruled by the distractions of life. In the Shallows we flit from thought to thought, distraction to distraction almost unpredictably. You know how this goes—you’re driving down the road listening to a podcast on the intelligence of dogs when the host makes a passing reference to his birthday. Your brain seizes on this little inconsequential remark, and you suddenly remember you forgot your mother’s birthday, which leads to some panicked thoughts about how to make up for it and where you can buy a birthday card today. You think of the store that might have a card, and you recall that it’s next to a great taco joint, which causes you to realize how much you love carnitas, and in a matter of a few nanoseconds you are miles from the actual topic of the podcast. This is most people’s mental life nowadays—a fluttering array of randomly distracting thoughts flitting along like a thousand butterflies. Those are the Shallows of your existence. The Midlands are characterized and ruled by what I, echoing Jesus’ words, would call “the cares of life,” the deeper worries, heartaches, longings, and aspirations that occupy the human heart (see Luke 21:34 and Matthew 4:19). Things like the health of your aging parents, the learning struggles of your children, the status of a troubled relationship, the progress of your career or lack thereof. Your finances, your own health, your hopes and fears for your future or the future of your loved ones. I hope this helps you distinguish between the Midlands and the Shallows. The Midlands are deeper down in our being because they are the terrain of weightier matters. When Jesus said, “Watch yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with . . . the cares of this life” (Luke 21:34 ESV), this is the geography of heartache and fear he was referring to. Distractions keep you in the Shallows for much of your day. They burn mental energy and take your focus on a roller coaster ride. But it is the pressures of the Midlands that keep you up at night—those are the things that cause us to pray, the things that give us ulcers. The Midlands, not the Shallows, tend to be the place of our tears. Deeper still, down in the “depths of your being,” is the essence of your existence, and the dwelling place of God (now that you have invited him to live in you!). The Depths are characterized and ruled by eternal things like faith, hope, love, and joy, to name a few. The prisoner sentenced to solitary confinement, the patient living out the final days of life in a lonely hospital room, and the castaway stranded on a remote island all discover that what once seemed so important now pales in the light of their longing to see their loved ones one more time. We all have a deep inner life, whether we pay attention to it or not. This is very hopeful, because we can learn to access it. LOCATION: 1773

Because our attention is ruled 99 percent of the time by the Midlands and the Shallows, we have to get untangled from all that distraction to “descend.” This is where benevolent detachment comes in—learning to give everyone and everything over to God. LOCATION: 1824

Summing up all we have covered thus far, here’s our situation as best we know it: We’ve all been softened, weakened, robbed of resilience from years of living in the Comfort Culture. (Our biggest crisis was something like a long line at Starbucks or our phone battery dying.) Then came global trauma in the years of the pandemic and its sociodramas. So we are depleted and beat up. We are in trauma rehab now, and we need to take that rehab seriously. Pretending everything is back to normal is delusional. We’re therefore in an especially vulnerable place right now. Desolation and other predatory forces are trying to make us give up, lose heart, abandon our faith, or simply give our hearts to comforters other than God. LOCATION: 1967

So let me first say this—if you do nothing else, and you want recovery and resilience, I would strongly recommend two things: First, renew your love and devotion to Jesus. Give time each day to loving him. This deepens your union and allows you to draw upon the life of Jesus-within-you. So simple, but most folks don’t even spend five minutes a day simply loving Jesus. They don’t know what they’re missing. Second, create a little margin in your life to allow your soul room to breathe. You can’t just keep slogging on; you have to make room for recovery and resilience. It can start with five to ten minutes, morning and evening. A few evenings each week where you aren’t doing anything. A day off now and then. LOCATION: 1987

My team and I have developed an app to help you with these simple practices—it’s called “30 Days to Resilience.” This beautiful, guided experience allows you to pause morning, noon, and night to recenter yourself in Jesus, pray, hear scripture read to you, and rest as you listen to beautiful music. It only takes a few minutes, but it is so refreshing. You can find “30 Days to Resilience” on our “One Minute Pause” app available in the App Store. Simply search for the app and download it for free. Then give the experience a try. LOCATION: 1995

Athletes will tell you that working out is not the most important part of training. Recovery is. The number one cause of athletic injuries is the lack of recovery time between training sessions. LOCATION: 2003

You can’t heal trauma without grieving it. This is why the mad rush to grab some joy and the global denial insisting that “things are getting back to normal” are cruel to the soul. It’s a shared attempt to sweep it all under the rug, but the problem is a good part of your soul goes right along with it. Under the rug. LOCATION: 2023

I want to suggest two things: First, look back to name what these years have been like for you. Name the losses, the fears, the sources of your anger and frustration. Imagine I’m your therapist and I’ve just asked you: What’s it been like for you? What’s been hard? What made you mad? What do you wish had never happened? Put it all out there. Honor it. Grieve it. LOCATION: 2026

Second, pay attention in the current moment. It’s far better to do this in real time—name what the current moment feels like, what it’s demanding of you, how it’s impacting your soul. Stay current with the cost of living in an hour like this. When you have a heart for humanity, when you share Jesus’ compassion for people, communities, and creation, you’re going to experience a lot of heartache in an hour like this one. Care for your soul by putting words to what it’s like. Don’t just pretend everything is fine. LOCATION: 2031

The math is simple: reserves are replenished when there’s more coming in than there is going out. LOCATION: 2043

We do need to provide for periods in the rhythm of our week, month, and year where we are intentionally operating below our capacity to replenish reserves. It doesn’t have to be limited to your vacation time. It’s something you can build into the rhythm of your life. Which evenings each week are blocked out in your calendar? You should block several out: no activity, no nothin’. Turn your phone off, and let your soul simply rest. LOCATION: 2058

We also need to rearrange our lives to develop resilience—mentally, emotionally, spiritually. LOCATION: 2108

Years in the Comfort Culture made us emotionally soft. If we don’t feel like doing something, we don’t do it. If we don’t feel like believing something, we don’t believe it. Folks like to call this authenticity, but it’s really just adolescence. Like a fourteen-year-old, we treat our emotions as some sort of right, the truest part of our existence. If we don’t feel love, we think we are no longer in love; if we don’t feel God, we think maybe he’s not around anymore. We coddle our feelings when what we need to do is bring them under the rule of Christ, just like our thought life. We build emotional resilience by not letting them control our perspective or our reaction to things. Simply because fear sweeps over you in the night doesn’t mean you have to give way to it. LOCATION: 2161

We honor our emotions by acknowledging them. We bridle our emotions by keeping them subject to truth. LOCATION: 2176

Whatever else the event was about, it is a tragic tale of divided allegiance and the power of this world to trap the human heart…Why did Lot’s wife look back? She was warned by angels not to. Their stern, holy faces made it clear. Yet she looked back, turned back in her heart. Jesus said it had to do with her grasp for life to be good again: “Remember Lot’s wife! Whoever tries to keep their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life will preserve it” (Luke 17:32–33). She thought she would lose her life, everything she thought she needed for life, and she turned back. This is far closer to us than we might think. You see, friends, all change initially feels like loss. When you leave one life to pursue another—a career change, a shot at grad school, even something as hope-filled as a new marriage—all you know is the life you are leaving behind. The adventure ahead is still strange and unknown, and thus you are more aware of what’s behind than what’s ahead. So it initially feels like loss. This doubt, this fear has crept into many good hearts in this hour. LOCATION: 2371

I said in chapter 3 that the pandemic was an apocalypse—which means a “revealing,” or exposing. Among all that has been revealed, the most concerning is our divided allegiances. The fear that overcame all of us in varying degrees revealed that our security was not as firmly established in Christ as we thought. The grasping for life to be good again revealed that our hope was not exactly centered in Christ either. Now the Falling Away is revealing how deep our disappointments with God actually run, how easily these shallow roots can be upended. LOCATION: 2396

The snare the enemy set for our hearts was to afflict us, traumatize us, tempt us, and get our hearts to land in a place where we sigh, feel relief, and say, I’m good. This is good. Without God. A taste of the kingdom without the King. LOCATION: 2413

His resilience will not fail us. Soon we will be laughing and singing with healed hearts, as we walk with Jesus in a completely healed world. LOCATION: 2539

Note: should you wish to find any quote in its original context, the Kindle “location” is provided after each entry.

Chuck Olson

As founder and president of Lead With Your Life, Dr. Chuck Olson is passionate about inspiring, resourcing and equipping Kingdom leaders to lead from the inside out.  To lead, not with the external shell of positions, achievements or titles, but from an internal commitment to a deep, abiding and transparent relationship with Jesus. Serving as a pastor and leadership coach for over forty years, Chuck has a track record of building these truths deep into the lives of both ministry and marketplace leaders.

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