Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

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September 14, 2012

JACKIE DAVIS: Emerging stronger after adversity

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — We are a nation of over-comers. Throughout our history, there have been battles fought and victories won. From British rule to the Declaration of Independence, from slavery to freedom, from oppression to suffrage, from immigrants to entrepreneurs—ours is a history comprised of people emerging stronger after adversity. 

This week, America paused to acknowledge the eleventh anniversary of the September 11th attacks. In solemnity of the ceremony, President Obama declared:

“… Our nation has emerged stronger, safer and more resilient … 

“As painful as this day is and always will be … No single event can ever destroy who we are, no act of terrorism can ever change what we stand for … We recommit ourselves to the values that we believe in, holding firmly, without wavering, to the hope that we confess.”

As we saw the new world trade tower rising victoriously behind the memorial in New York, I appreciated the recognition of pain in the remembrance of that fateful day. It somehow gave permission to mourn in the midst of honoring those whose lives were lost. 

Knowing that adversity or hardships will come doesn’t make it less painful when it occurs. Whenever we or those we know and love are faced with an injustice, or a loss, we are also faced with a choice: We can allow the pain of the situation to consume us, destroy us and make us bitter, or we go through the valley of suffering with God’s help, and emerge stronger, wiser, and more experienced, having developed the character, endurance and understanding that only comes through overcoming adversity.

Last Sunday saw the return of Payton Manning, one of the NFL’s most outstanding quarterbacks, after a year of not playing. I rejoiced in seeing the remarkable performance of this amazing player. After eleven straight winning seasons, a Super Bowl win, and more Most Valuable Player awards than any other player in history, I would have never dreamed that Payton Manning would have ever been cut by his former team because of injuries.

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