Holy crap is it hard to stay positive when things are tough…am I right? I remember calling and crying to my mom, “When am I going to catch a break? I’m so tired of everything being so hard!”
Stubborn Optimism: Are you going through a rough season? Things like losing a job or fighting an illness are sadly common – yet when they happen, we feel like we’re marooned on an island with none to hear our cry for “help!” My grandfather was a purple heart veteran and prisoner of war in WWII, and he explained how surviving traumatic odds depends on stubborn optimism. This mentality was reiterated by Louis Zamperini in the novel Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand.
“People tell me, “You’re such an optimist”. Am I an optimist? An optimist says the glass is half full. A pessimist says the glass is half empty. A survivalist is practical. He says, “Call it what you want, but just fill the glass.” I believe in filling the glass.” ― Louis Zamperini
You’re Invited! Let’s break it down. Any kind of strain triggers emotions of anger, fear, sadness or stress. Since misery loves company, we start filling out invitations to our pity party – where we will cry if we want to! So how can we take the high-road when tribulations come knocking at our door?
STEP 1 – Take a deep breath: As long as you are alive and breathing there is still work to be done. Have hope and know that everything will be okay!
“Yet a part of you still believes you can fight and survive no matter what your mind knows. It’s not so strange. Where there’s still life, there’s still hope. What happens is up to God.” ― Louis Zamperini, Devil at My Heels
STEP 2 – Reflect: It’s unlikely that this is the first time you’ve experienced trouble with optimism. What happened last time you were challenged? What did you do? What would you do differently? Unless you are a fan of learning things the hard way, I suggest taking a moment to reflect and start making wiser choices. If you are a believer, this time of reflection should also remind you of God’s faithfulness.
Romans 8:26 & 28 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us… 28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
STEP 3 – Discipline: The only one who is going to make a difference is YOU. You have to take action if you want to see change. So often we quit too soon, craving comfort and instant gratification, and we end up missing out on the breakthrough that was just around the corner. We have to hold on until we see victory!
A word of encouragement: I am living proof that trusting God and living in the comfort of his peace is the best way to approach any challenge. Lean on God and see what happens. His word is a promise and it tells us that His ways are higher than ours and that His peace transcends all understanding. I believe He is waiting to reward our faith and patience.