Therapists, psychologists, ministers and the like have asked themselves, continually, what are the qualities that separate those who flounder versus those who thrive regarding adversity and affliction?
It seems that some have a natural predilection for thriving—for growing through the agency of crisis—whilst others wither under the strain of it all.
If only we, we that read this, could picture ourselves as the thriving. If only we had a capacity to absorb many kinds of onslaught and become bigger and better (instead of bitter and a beggar) as a result.
There is a way. It is the genuine Gospel way. It is in adopting the King, Jesus, who has already overcome. This will be confusing to many; even for many a believer.
How can Jesus have overcome our present problems, or those we have yet to experience?
The Nature of Jesus’ Overcoming and How It Helps
The nature of Jesus’ overcoming is a shadow cast, over all eternity, in the shape of a cross, and by the knowledge of his resurrection. The shadow of the cross—God’s forgiveness, and the vanquishing of the power, of sin—and the empowering of all who would believe in the resurrection by the Holy Spirit—works with and accepts, already, the shadows of darkness within us; those given to make us wither at the sight of our problems.
By the Holy Spirit, given by the Father, through the Son’s obedience, we have our way for overcoming. None of our problems preclude this restorative work of the Holy Spirit.
I feel this needs to be broken down even simpler.
The nature of Jesus’ overcoming is a principle for all. No matter what occurs to us, notwithstanding all despicable events, we have a way for bounding back into life.
This way does not mean an instantly generated miracle in many circumstances. Indeed, many of our losses involve us in the hard work of grieving.
But grieving, by its nature, is a resiliency process helping us to eventually thrive. Grieving is about recovery, not languishing in the quagmire eternally. So whether it takes hours or years is beside the point. Adjustment is about growth. Adjustment is not about getting us back to ‘normal’, but creating a new, usually better, normal. But we only see it as better later on.
If we grieve—by wrangling with adversity and affliction in truth—by working with and getting past our denial, bargaining, anger and depression, and eventually accepting what cannot now be changed—we have our way of thriving.
When we grieve well, even making grieving our base life skill for coping, we have our way for thriving—for finding ways of growing. Grieving is a paradoxical concept for thriving; but we cannot thrive unless we, first, deal with the truth—which involves grief, and the process of grieving.
Jesus is big enough to venture with in meeting our dark truths. When we trust our King, we can venture into any battle.
© 2012 S. J. Wickham.