This year has been a tough year for my family. With bad news seemingly on speed dial, we received the most recent bad news just a few weeks ago. My employer, a large multinational, announced a full layoff at my location. This information was a huge shock to me and my coworkers. However, it was a quick reminder of the importance of reacting righteously in the middle of adversity.
In the Heat of the Moment
At the moment we heard the announcement, we all immediately began experiencing the early stages of grief. Some of us tried to be positive. Others went into cussing fits. Another group of us cried tears of sadness.
Personally, I was stunned. But as a Christ follower, I knew I wasn’t going to be negative—especially not around my coworkers.
For the benefit of others, I began coaching people up on the opportunity to start something new. I told stories of friends who were laid off and ended up in better jobs than the ones they lost. I shared every relevant job postings I came across, and I wrote recommendation letters for everyone who asked for one.
1 Peter 5:10 – And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. (ESV)
Given the freedom gained from Christ’s love, I didn’t see any choice other than being a light in darkness. That being said, it has still been a difficult time.
In the Midst of Adversity
Each time someone says something ill about our employer, it’d be easier just to join in. Whenever someone speaks disparagingly about our leadership, it’d be more convenient to add to the pile.
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Fortunately, those instances have been minimal given the circumstances. Part of that is thanks to our employer’s generosity. They gave us ample warning and provided career services counseling. Another other part is thanks to the maturity of the folks left behind to close up shop.
But most of all, gratitude has been the best medicine. That’s a great thing to remember as we head into this season of thanksgiving. As the adage goes, when our hearts are full of gratitude, there’s no room for complaints.