Responding to adversity

Judith Victoria Hensley - Plain Thoughts

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Hardships come to everyone. No matter how rich, famous, popular, or beautiful a person may happen to be, heartaches will come. If each of us could be an island in the middle of an ocean without any other people in our world to bring us grief, there would still be storms.

Out of adversity, we often find our greatest strength. If a football player never had anyone to play against, his skills would be grossly underdeveloped. If a policeman never trained at the academy about how to respond in various situations and how to protect the lives of others or himself/herself, they would be in unimaginable trouble when they had to take charge in a life and death situation.

People handle trouble in many different ways. Some lash out at everyone and everything around them in an angry rage. On the opposite end, there are those who go into seclusion, not wanting to be exposed to the possibility of further hurt. Some simply give up and run away. And in the middle are those who try to figure things out as they deem the right way, or the best way they can personally deal with the situation.

Each individual’s way of overcoming the struggles of life will be different based on their own life experience and the way they have seen those closest to them respond. No matter how we deal with hardships, there are consequences and repercussions because of our decisions. We are not islands isolated from the rest of the world. Our lives have impact on the lives of those around us.

Years ago I had a pastor and his wife who lost a child through miscarriage. They were truly broken hearted. But on Sunday morning, he was behind the pulpit with tears streaming down his face declaring that “God is good – all the time.” This morning on Facebook I saw a post about a similar circumstance, but the person was still trusting in God even though she could not understand why it had happened.

In all my years, these are the things I KNOW about God. He is a loving Father. He is good ALL the time. He has a plan for each individual living soul a redeemed relationship with Him, but still allows us to choose whether or not we will accept it. He looks at the big picture and sees the outcomes while we are often only able to see the moment in front of us. He ALWAYS has a future for us and hope in Him.

He is our Strength when we are weak, our Hope when we are hopeless, our Friend when we are friendless, and our Father when we are fatherless. He loves us when we are unlovely. He sees the potential in us when we are nothing more than clay. He loved mankind enough to send His only Son to the earth to rebuild the bridge between God and man, and Christ offered His own life as ransom for ours, if we choose to accept that gift.

The outcome of our life is based on our responses over time. Every decision we’ve ever made has brought us to this point in time. Some of our decisions we would change if we could, and some of them we would not alter. Through both, we should have learned how to respond to the adversities in life.

As all others do, I’ve had to learn to cope with adversity. More importantly, in the face of adversity, I’ve learned to trust in God always and bring my troubles to Him. In my opinion, that is the most important response I or anyone else can ever make.

Reach Judith Victoria Hensley at [email protected] or on Facebook. Check out her blog: One Step Beyond the Door.

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Judith Victoria Hensley

Plain Thoughts

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