Calling Forth the Sisu

When you are pregnant with a child … the endpoint of that is delivery of that child into the world. The Word of God terms that event as “Travail”, we call it “Labor”- means the same thing. A woman does a job that requires an unknown amount of her resources to accomplish. For some the delivery is easy, it comes with pain and labor, but not the utmost of her resources. For some it requires everything… maternal mortality is not unknown, although it is a reduced likelihood with proper care and support in the pregnancy and delivery. I wrote of sisu in an earlier time.

I preface with that because it is in the delivery of children that I came to understood “sisu”, a concept not easily understood in our soft and selfish American culture. But it isn’t so quite so soft for our foreseeable future, and the prognosis for the future in our nation bodes ill. We may yet need to tap this quality “sisu”. Certainly, Christians, I assure you, with all the underscoring possible that we will need this quality going forward.

Sisu is a Finnish word for a valued Finnish concept. Although I think it is something that people, under duress, tap into no matter what their culture. Some have sayings like “do or die”.

“Sisu is a unique Finnish concept. It stands for the philosophy that what must be done will be done, regardless of what it takes. Sisu is a special strength and persistent determination and resolve to continue and overcome in the moment of adversity. A combination of stamina, perseverance, courage, and determination held in reserve for hard times.”

When facing adversity in life, we reach to God… but this is also an act of sisu, not falling backwards in defeat or resignation… but reaching forward with that last part of our own resources. I think this is what we are to call forth. Not because of the economic times, but because of the times that are coming. The dark clouds are on the horizon. Ready the light inside you, batten the hatches, go forward. Travail until the breakthrough, the deliverance comes.

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