As a child I really loved a creative toy called “Slinky”. It was a piece of medal that had been reshaped to form circles, creating a spring. These circles would allow it to go down steps, jump off counters, etc. It was an amazing toy. One day with one of my Slinkys I attempted to straighten the metal and see if it would break. I felt that if the toy company had bent it, then I could break it. It became distorted, still functioned, but did not break.
Looking at life, there are things in life that hurt us and make us feel like almost giving up.
- We don’t get jobs we wanted.
- We don’t get the help we need.
- We commit to a relationship that the other person really wasn’t committed to on the same level.
- We don’t pass our classes or our certification exams.
- We find out news that devastates us.
- We are outcast and demonized by the ones we thought would love us.
Life can be a challenge to navigate. When these things happen, they bend us.
- Pushing us down from our place of confidence.
- Pushing us down from our place of strength.
- Pushing us down from our place of assurance.
And the more things happen, the more bent we become. The Bible talks about the woman who was bent over for 18 longs years. This woman was an example of life having a way of weighing us down. And as we get weighed down, we must understand that Jesus can always lift us from our low place. Hurt and pain, disappointment and dismay, victimization and violence, trauma and torment, have a way of bending us, but they can’t break us. As long as we have a God who can do anything but fail, we are unbreakable.
As a child, I eventually realized that my Slinky was unbreakable. It could bend and be distorted, but it was unbreakable. As we navigate life, it is my hope that we can think about the Slinky that continues to bounce back from what tries to pull it apart and break it. God is our hope and our refuge, when we experience the challenges of life, let us remember they may BEND US, but they cannot BREAK US.
Bishop Allyson Abrams, PhD
Bishop Allyson Abrams, PhD, is the senior pastor of Empowerment Liberation Cathedral in Washington DC. She is the founder of Empowerment Justice Center a non-profit that was birthed from the social justice ministry of ELC. She is also an entrepreneur and has her own real estate business, MyVision LLC. Bishop Abrams serves as the Chair/President of the UCC MHN Board and is an advocate for equality and justice. She has won many accolades, has written 4 books, had 3 articles published and is a true visionary.