Lessons from Typhoon Haiyan II – Resilience

Resilience amid grief and loss

Lessons from Typhoon Haiyan – Resilience

Amid the destruction which left over 600,000 thousand homeless from Typhoon Haiyan (called Yolanda by the Philippine natives) we catch a glimpse of Tacloban youngsters surviving emotionally by playing Basketball (NBCNews.com Photo: David Guttenfelder, AP). These resilient kids discovered a hoop in their devastated neighborhood, then buttressed the backboard with broken wood beams and rusty nails they collected from the debris of their destroyed homes. On a rare stretch of clear road, with a few onlookers gathered, they found relief from the devastation and death, grief and loss all around them.

Beyond Loss and Grief

Without minimizing the cruel results of the Typhoon (called a hurricane in the West), with thousands buried in mass graves, and the desperate needs of survivors for food, water, shelter, and protection from looters, in the picture above we see displayed a facet of young people we admire–resilience. Kids and many adults tend to bounce back from the worst disasters in ways we don’t fully understand. We saw this in last week’s blog in the people gathered to sing songs around the fire at night.

Job’s Resilience

In spite of the overwhelming disasters experienced by Job, he also shows remarkable resilience. Even with a severe depression, he avoids self-harm; even against the prevailing doctrine that disaster implies personal sin, he defends his innocence to his friends; even with the sheer impossibility of the idea, he initiates a lawsuit against God for the injustice he experiences.

Beyond your loss and grief

Because of a catastrophic circumstance, perhaps you also have experienced disaster. How will you cope? With Job and those boys above, God has also given you some capacity to bounce back. You need not deny your painful loss, or your need to grieve to begin thinking of how you can live with a new expression of your resilience.

Like the boys in the picture, can you point to something you’re doing to demonstrate that resilience?

About Grose

Gordon Grose loves most to write, speak, and preach on the message of hope from the book of Job. Using drama, video, and PowerPoint, he has preached and presented this message of hope to churches around the country. Grose pastored three congregations 25 years, then served 12 years as a pastoral counselor in a Portland, Oregon counseling clinic. He now serves with Good Samaritan Counseling Services, Beaverton, OR. A graduate of Wheaton College (IL), Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, Brandeis University, and Boston University, he comes from a rich and varied background in theological and counseling training. In 2015, Gordon published Tragedy Transformed: How Job's Recovery Can Provide Hope For Yours, a book about turning to Job for hope after tragedy. If you have experienced life challenges or personal tragedy, visit his Transforming Tragedy (gordongrose.com) blog to learn more. TragedyTransformed.com provides a sample of Gordon's speaking as well as an opportunity to purchase copies of his book.
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