Did you watch any of the Paralympics?
I was so inspired and challenged by the participants’ resilience, determination, discipline and abilities. Most impressive was their joy in adversity.
When we face challenges such as lockdown, it is common and understandable to hope for the day that life will return to ‘normal’. For many Paralympians, an accident or cancer meant they could never return to ‘normal’. They inspire us to accept our ongoing adversity and adapt to a new ‘normal’. More than surviving, they are thriving and experiencing joy as they face their limitations daily.
Everyone faces limitations and adversity, and comparing our challenges is not helpful. The crux is our response.
In my book, I mentioned Nick Vujicic, who was born without arms or legs. Growing up, he wrestled with bullying, depression and loneliness. An unanswerable question that tormented him was, ‘Why was I the one born without arms and legs?’
He writes, ‘Life isn’t about having; it’s about being. You could surround yourself with all that money can buy, and you’d still be as miserable as a human can be. I know people with perfect bodies who don’t have half the happiness I’ve found . . . The “If I just had X, I would be happy” syndrome is a mass delusion.’
Nick credits his victory over his struggles, as well as his strength and passion for life today, to his faith in God. He advises, ‘We may have absolutely no control over what happens to us, but we can control how we respond . . . I have the choice to be angry at God for what I don’t have, or be thankful for what I do have . . . I chose gratitude.’ He’s focused on the belief his life has value and is a gift to others—and that despite the despair and hard times in life, God is always present (p. 150).
Whatever the crisis, Jesus is with us. Let’s connect with the real Jesus of the Bible and receive His help to redefine success during our hardship. Practice His presence and receive His joy. Going deeper, we can check our core identity, security, foundational beliefs and values. Perhaps ask, ‘How is my definition of success harming my family and me? Who or what am I worshipping or trusting?’
Join me and others as we apply the message of Redefining success according to Jesus over 7 weeks. Starting soon! Two time slots to accommodate different time zones.
Every Thursday 23rd September to 4th November 2021
Or Every Friday 24th September to 5th November 2021
If you are unsure what time the meeting will take place in your time zone, please use https://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/meeting.html
Flexibility. If you can meet in person, you can join on one device and discuss in pairs. If you are in lockdown, you and your friend will be in the same breakout room for discussion. If you are joining alone, we will pair you.
Stay strong in Jesus,