Thankful for Adversity

Several years ago, I was invited to speak at a men’s retreat and discussed a spiritual principle that I referred to as “The Eric Snow phenomena.”

Eric Snow was a long-time NBA point guard who finished his career with our hometown Cavaliers.  To some of our readers he may be better known as the husband of one of the stars of  the first season of Real Housewives of Atlanta.

By the end of his career, Snow’s knees were shot and he was arguably the worst offensive player in the NBA. During his final season, he made only 15.8% of his shots (45% is typical for an NBA player). Because the Cavs had a very talented player at that time (who would later choose to take his talents to South Beach) who was a much greater threat to score, opposing teams wouldn’t even bother to guard Eric Snow. He was so bad offensively that he could easily be ignored.

Eric Snow illustrates a spiritual principle that applies to Christians. If you’re not encountering any resistance or adversity in your life, you’re probably not a threat to accomplish much  for God’s team.

This has been a very difficult year for me personally, probably the most difficult in the last 25 years. The practice I lead has been through some challenges (a serious health issue with a key team member and a long term colleague VERY unexpectedly leaving for greener pastures) that could have easily led us to close. Between those circumstances and the changes looming on the horizon for medicine, I’ve felt very discouraged about my professional future. All this at a time when opportunities abounded for Key Ministry and the challenges at work represented an enormous distraction.

God has been faithful to his promises through these circumstances. Our ministry team really stepped up. Several very generous donors provided funding that allowed us to respond to our most promising opportunities. An unexpected consulting opportunity came along in October that will allow us to pay our bills at the end of the year. I’ve had the health to maintain my ministry responsibilities. Several months ago, an outstanding psychologist with extensive management experience joined our group in a leadership role, freeing me up to do more with the ministry. (Welcome aboard, Sherri!)

Many of our ministry colleagues who are doing great things to connect families with churches have faced great adversity this year-far greater than the minor bumps in the road I experienced. I’d encourage them to view their circumstances as I have mine…as validation of the blessing we’ve been given to serve in a meaningful way as God re-establishes His Kingdom here on Earth.

I’m thankful for my less than optimal circumstances. I was forced to become more aware of my own inadequacy and reminded of my need to depend upon God.

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. 5 For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ.

2 Corinthians 1:3-5 (NIV)

Happy Thanksgiving to friends and supporters of Key Ministry everywhere!

 

About Dr. G

Dr. Stephen Grcevich serves as President and Founder of Key Ministry, a non-profit organization providing free training, consultation, resources and support to help churches serve families of children with disabilities. Dr. Grcevich is a graduate of Northeastern Ohio Medical University (NEOMED), trained in General Psychiatry at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation and in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at University Hospitals of Cleveland/Case Western Reserve University. He is a faculty member in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at two medical schools, leads a group practice in suburban Cleveland (Family Center by the Falls), and continues to be involved in research evaluating the safety and effectiveness of medications prescribed to children for ADHD, anxiety and depression. He is a past recipient of the Exemplary Psychiatrist Award from the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). Dr. Grcevich was recently recognized by Sharecare as one of the top ten online influencers in children’s mental health. His blog for Key Ministry, www.church4everychild.org was ranked fourth among the top 100 children's ministry blogs in 2015 by Ministry to Children.
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One Response to Thankful for Adversity

  1. Leslie says:

    Great post! Thanks for sharing your story, and encouraging the rest of us. Happy Thanksgiving!

    Like

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