Sometimes, something so significant happens that changes the way an individual lives. Such events define the boundaries of hope and despondency, draw the line between good and evil and make us aware that occasionally life carries both good and evil in the same breath. Many of us have gone through such situations or come across people who have faced them.
A while back I had the opportunity of hosting some children from Uganda all who have lost one or both parents to AIDS related sicknesses or some form of violence. Witnessing these hardships as a child is one of such defining events. I listened as they narrated their stories.
Rachael, who was 9 years old then, came from school to find people gathered around her house. She was told that her father had killed her mother before committing suicide. As if that was not tough enough, her father’s family blamed her mother for his death. Just like that her life had changed forever due to no fault of her own and she had nowhere to go.
At that tender age, she turned to the streets, begged and worked for food. Rachael’s destiny, like many other people who are born in poverty, it seemed, was doomed. Abandoned, alone and afraid this young child endured despite her circumstance. With a smile on her face Rachael revealed the secret to her bouncebackability.
“Before my mother died, we used to read the Bible together and whenever I wanted to give up, I would hear: “Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; for the Lord upholdeth him with his hand.”” (Psalm 37:24 KJV)
After some time she was rescued from the streets, accepted by a new family and today, Rachael, a college graduate, works with orphans and other disadvantaged children to offer hope and encouragement through the message of salvation of Jesus Christ.
Bouncebackability is about getting up, dusting off and trying again until you succeed. Is this even possible for a child born in the virulence of racism, raped as a child and becomes a single mother at 17, then later works as a nightclub dancer and even a prostitute? Maya Angelou wouldn’t let any of those experiences bind her destiny. She proceeded to become a leading poet, author, actress, director, playwright, composer, singer, dancer and a prominent figure in America’s civil rights movement.
Not every storm we experience is our fault. Joseph’s life starts out well. He was the favorite of his father Jacob. Then suddenly he begins to get these dreams indicating that his brothers and his father will all bow down to him; and his brothers hatch a plot to get rid of him. They conspire to kill him by abandoning him in a pit. Fortunately, a band of traders pass by and the brothers change the plan. They sell him as a slave. His life has just changed!
Abandoned by family, stripped off his richly ornamented coat, sold off as a slave, falsely accused, thrown in jail and forgotten by his friends, Joseph has a choice to make. Should he remain in mourning over what has befallen him or should he bounce back? He faced difficult times repeatedly but endured.
Joseph’s bouncebackability is amazing. This helps him gain a reputation as a dream interpreter and rescues Egypt from famine. This also saves his family from dying of starvation in Canaan because years later, when his brothers arrive in Egypt in search of food, Joseph is able to help them. Joseph’s ability to bounce back brings about a family reunion! (Genesis 45:1-28 NIV).
For sure “…a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again…” (Proverbs 24:16a KJV). This, in my opinion, is bouncebackability. It helps us to look beyond our present toward our future. It restores the spring back into our step. It helps us remember we are never out of God’s reach!
Other inspirational scriptures: Genesis 37:1-36 NIV, Genesis 39:1-23 NIV, Genesis 40:1-23 NIV, Genesis 41:1-57 NIV
Copyright © 2014 Dee Kyalo-Mwanzia