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Here's to the Survivors

In the late 1970’s Gloria Gaynor performed a hit song entitled, “I Will Survive.” I don’t know much about her life or who wrote the song. What I do know is that her song became a chant of liberty for many, many people.

Think back to a time in your life that made you question your ability to make it. When you were going through your situation it is possible that you doubted whether or not you would get through. Do you remember how tough it was – night after night filled with so many tears? The individual walked away and it seemed that they never looked back. Day after day, you wondered if anyone would come back, looking for you. “Don’t they miss me, too?” “I thought I mattered to them.” “How could this happen to me?"

These are probably the very thoughts that Joseph, the son of Jacob, had concerning his brothers and family, as recorded in Genesis 37. These are probably the very thoughts that you have had concerning a time in your life. So many people counted you out. So many people gave up on you. But you survived. Not only did you survive, but you thrived!

You are a survivor when you not only endure the “shipwrecks” but use some of the broken pieces to help you get to shore. You will experience things that are intended to destroy you. Others counted you out. How surprised they were to see you when you came through. Although everything seemed lost, you were able to find something to hold on to and you made it to the other side.

You become a survivor when you acknowledge the difficulty but remain free of its life-draining grip. You do not allow the situation to become part of your fabric; of your genetic make-up. You become a survivor when you approach the challenge as if it were an outfit that you’ve outgrown. Yes, it may have helped define a moment of your life, but it no longer fits you. You are a survivor when you use the incident as a teacher – taking a lesson from it that will make you stronger. You use the very thing that was intended to eliminate you as the prop that undergirds and strengthens you.

Like Joseph, you acknowledge that you were part of a bigger plan. What others intended for evil, God used for good. You are able to forgive and turn around and give aid to the person.

Here’s to the survivors!

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