Growing through Adversity

It has been with great excitement that our staff team have this week welcomed back all students to the College.  For most students, it has been many weeks since they were last on campus and during this time each of us, including our children, have experienced an extremely challenging and unusual season.  With the restrictions associated with COVID-19 starting to be eased, the focus for many has now turned towards the future, the next step and the ‘next normal’.  But our ‘next normal’ still comes with challenges and further change.

In reflecting upon this, I have been considering how often we learn the most about ourselves and life as a result of adversity and challenging times.  As we face challenges, we are forced to develop an inner strength to cope with what is ahead of us.  COVID-19 has been a reminder that hardship and challenge is a part of life for us all.  As we face challenges, we are forced to muster inner strength and hope to handle the fluctuations both now and ahead of us. In a recent article written by David Brooks, a Columnist for the New York Times, he wrote about a tide of “safetyism” that has crept into society in recent decades largely as a result of us being overprotective of our children.  Perhaps in middle class Australia we can even put on a front which says, all is good in order to ‘protect’ ourselves and our families.  I can certainly relate to trying to reduce the stress and hardship that our children face as they journey through life.  Unfortunately, these overprotective impulses can in fact limit the opportunities that our children will have to develop the resilience necessary to navigate life.

As we seek to learn for this season, perhaps we need to consider embracing hardship and reflect again on how we nurture and raise our children so that they begin to lay the foundations to develop spiritual and emotional muscle that will prepare them to face the difficulties and obstacles of life.  Making our children aware of difficulties can have the added bonus of helping to increase their awareness of provision and privileges, we often take for granted.  I am so thankful that we have a loving God who promises to walk with us through the difficulties and obstacles on our path, individually, professionally and on behalf of our families.

1 Peter 5:7, Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

Psalm 56:3 When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.


Paul Sterling