Dooger Rants About Adversity

Have you ever had one of those days when nothing went right? A friend of mine recently woke up to find a flat tire on his car. He limped it to a nearby gas station to air up. The air compressor ate all of his quarters, but gave no air in return. He limped it back home to his tiny 12 volt tire pump which took 20 minutes to do the job. By this time, he was very late getting to work. His day was full of computer glitches and other mis-haps. He was for sure having a terrible, horrible, very bad, no good day.

Adversity is part of life. It’s un-avoidable. How we respond to it is what matters most. Let’s look at two characters to show how we should handle adversity. First is the fictional DC Comics character, Bruce Wayne. Bruce witnessed the murder of his parents when he was eight years old. His parents were extremely wealthy and left him a fortune and their butler Alfred to care for Bruce. This dichotomy of wealth and adversity make for a very interesting character. On one hand, he is a privileged high society playboy with no real purpose in life. His alter ego, Batman, grows out of the adversity in his life. Pain and trauma haunt Batman. Out of that haunted past grows the purpose of his life, to fight the supervillains that made him an orphan. If it weren’t for the Joker, Batman would just be Bruce Wayne.

The other character that we should consider when thinking about adversity is Paul, the writer of one fourth of the New Testament Bible. Like Bruce Wayne, Paul did not find purpose in his wealth, but in his adversity. He was born in the wealthy city of Tarshish. Paul was well educated and a prominent leader in the Jewish church. He described himself as a Hebrew of Hebrews. However, it wasn’t his wealth, status, or perfection of the law that gave his life meaning. His life mission came after he was blinded by Jesus which is also when adversity started. Paul was beaten, jailed, stoned, and shipwrecked multiple times. Paul fought wild beasts in Ephesus. A venomous snake bit him on the island of Malta. Paul definitely had his share of days that we would consider a very bad, no good day.

Paul’s citizenship in the upside down kingdom gave him a very different view of adversity than most normal people have. Paul echos the words of Jesus’ brother when he says we should find glory in tribulation. He actually says he finds pleasure from infirmities because he can then find strength in God. When people outside of the upside down kingdom see christians give thanks for adversity, it brings glory to God. Jesus had his own share of adversity. The prophet Isaiah describes him as a man of sorrows. Paul tells us that if we want to share in the resurrection of Christ, we must also share in His suffering.

The next time you are having a very bad, no good day, try to find something to be thankful for. When you get the flat tire fixed, drive to a McDonalds and buy a Big Mac for a homeless person who doesn’t have a car. When the air compressor rips off all of your quarters, offer to buy a coffee for the gas station attendant instead of screaming at them. You cannot avoid tribulation, but you can control your response to it.

These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.

John 16:33




Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *