Building Resilience

There have been several high visibility layoffs in the job market recently. I just saw a list of some sixteen companies that have cut back on their work force since the new year (source: Some of these have been large tech companies, but other layoffs have impacted the media, financial, sales, home décor, and hospitality sectors of the economy. The percentages of layoffs range from the lows of 1 to 1.5% all the way up to a staggering 20% of the company work force. This is an unsettling time for global economies. There are growing concerns over inflation and the possibility of recession in 2023.

Groot says, "I'm dog-tired!"

Families and individuals are facing many struggles these days. Some are unemployed while others are underemployed which forces them to take multiple part-time jobs just to pay the bills. Not only are these people feeling stressed about financial matters and time management, but they yearn for respect, significance, and a renewed purpose for their lives.  Do you feel spent and exhausted by the challenges you are facing? Are you dog-tired? This is a level of exhaustion that can be emotional as well as physical. This fatigue can even impact us spiritually.

In 2014, Admiral William McRaven gave a memorable commencement speech about changing the world to 8000 graduating students at the University of Texas. During that address he spoke about ten lessons he had learned in his training to become a Navy Seal. The first lesson probably brought some snickers from the students, but this esteemed Naval officer was serious when he said, “The very first task of your day is to make your bed!” and  then added, “Little things matter. If you can’t do the little things right, you’ll never be able to do the big things right!”

Although Seals undergo some of the most rigorous combat training known to the military, these recruits had to be accountable for a simple exercise every morning. They had to undergo a bed inspection. Admiral McRaven advised the UT grads that if they could accomplish this one simple task at the beginning of their day, it would give them a sense of pride and accomplishment that would carry them through the other tasks of their day. To a guy like me who loves his routine, this sounds a lot like “keep putting one foot in front of the other each day!”

Do you need to build more resiliency in your life? Resilience is mental toughness, emotional elasticity, and physical discipline and strength that enables you to deal with difficult times and rebound from their adverse effects. Here are some suggestions that may help you to take another step toward building resilience in your life:

a.       a. Keep moving forward. Stay with your routines. Take care of yourself and your loved ones. Follow through with daily tasks and maintain a schedule. Eat healthily, stay busy, exercise daily and get your rest at night.

b.      b. Connect with friends. Your friends matter. Make time for nurturing these significant relationships. When appropriate, share your burdens with those more balanced friends. Laugh and cry together and add value to each other.

c.       c. Grow your faith. Don’t neglect your spiritual life. Read the Bible, meditate on its truths, and spend time in prayer. Make time for in-person worship or tune-in to online inspirational services. Keep centering your mind and heart on God and do not worry about your circumstances. Instead, trust God with your needs!

d.      d. Be courageous with these assurances: “I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength” (Philippians 4:13, NLT); “Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power” (Ephesians 6:10); “Be on guard. Stand firm in the faith. Be courageous. Be strong.” (1 Corinthians 16:13). “So be strong and courageous, all you who put your hope in the Lord” (Psalm 31:24).

Adversities do not define believers who choose to live in hope and not despair! Be resilient in Christ! He is our strength! “Christ in you, the hope of Glory!” (Colossians 1:27).

Mike Keppler, retired pastor,

active churchman and
doting grandparent.


  1. Thank you for the four great suggestions and the scriptures to remind us how to have an abundant life! 🙏🙏❤️

  2. Thank you Mike, these things are most important in our lives


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