Suguaro Cactus in the Sonoran Desert of Tucson Arizona showing off their resilience

4 Lessons in Resilience From A Cactus

Resilience [ ri-zil-yuhns, –zil-ee-uhns ]

The power or ability of a material to return to its original form, position, etc., after being bent, compressed, or stretched; elasticity

The ability of a person to adjust to or recover readily from illness, adversity, major life changes, etc.; buoyancy

The ability of a system or organization to respond to or recover readily from a crisis, disruptive process, etc.


I love warmer weather. I’m sure this comes as no surprise since you know I’m a beach girl! But I’m also a desert girl and I love the heat of Tucson, Arizona.

I know, I know. Us East coasters like to poke fun at that “dry heat” phenomenon, but I’m here to tell you, that it’s absolutely true!

Perpetually low humidity means you can actually cool off in the shade on a 108-degree day, unlike the humidity here in the East that keeps you boiling (and diminishing your resilience, am I right?).

But it’s more than the weather that makes me love the desert. It’s also the majesty of the heartiest of plant life: the cactus.

I’ve learned a lot from the cactus, besides the pain of accidentally running into its needles.

I’ve learned resilience in life and business from the cactus. And here are four lessons for you today.


No temptation has come upon you except what is common to humanity. But God is faithful; he will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation he will also provide the way out so that you may be able to bear it.
1 Corinthians 10:13

Lesson 1: The cactus is tough and resilient, adapting to extreme conditions like high temps in the summer and very low temps in the winter.

Our obedience to, and resilience through, the Holy Spirit enables us to weather the highs and lows of business (and yes, without dying!). Like it says in in 1 Corinthians 10:13, God provides a way out so we can be resilient.


Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.
I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.
John 15:4-5

Lesson 2: The cactus stores water, thereby keeping a reserve of resilience and nourishment.

We have a reserve of resilience because God gave it to us, and we renew it as we are nourished in the Word and our daily business meeting with Him.


Jesus called out to them, “Come, follow me, and I will show you how to fish for people!”And they left their nets at once and followed him.
Matthew 4:19-20

Lesson 3: The cactus will grow where no other plants can grow.

In business, we were called to go where others wouldn’t go: #entrepreneurlife but more importantly we were called to follow Jesus, where not everyone will join us, nor will everyone understand it. We are made to grow in Him, and only through Him do our businesses grow!


If you follow my decrees and are careful to obey my commands, I will send you the seasonal rains. The land will then yield its crops, and the trees of the field will produce their fruit. Your threshing season will overlap with the grape harvest, and your grape harvest will overlap with the season of planting grain. You will eat your fill and live securely in your own land.
Leviticus 26:3-5

Lesson 4: The cactus is perennial.

Perennial translates to “through the years.” This means a cactus keeps going and going, it can be harvested multiple times in its lifecycle. It’s safe to say if you’ve been in business longer than a year, you’ve probably seen harvesting at least a couple times. If you’ve been in business longer, you’re definitely perennial! And when we’re following God’s direction, He will guide all things in season so we yield a harvest over and over.

Just like the cactus, you can stand tall and steadfast, knowing that He who made you, specifically assigned you, and He sustains you in anything He’s given you to do. I always say where God guides, He provides!

Renew your resilience by leaning closer to Jesus today. I’d love to hear how you’re renewing yours – DM me on LinkedIn at @erinharrigan or Instagram at @erindharrigan!

For more on the topic of resilience, go listen to these episode 218 of my podcast, Redefining Hustle: Pursuing Success as a Christian Woman.


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