It's the time of year for rounding up the best and brightest of college commencement addresses.
Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg recently gave the commencement address at UC Berkley. Instead of dishing out the standard simplistic but uplifting pep talk, Ms. Sandberg turned the tables when she said, "I am not here to tell you all the things I've learned in life. Today I will try to tell you what I learned in death." In 2015 Sheryl's husband Dave died suddenly and unexpectedly. "For many months afterward, and at many times since," she continued, "I was swallowed up in the deep fog of grief—what I think of as the void—an emptiness that fills your heart, your lungs, constricts your ability to think or even to breathe."
But she goes on "I also learned that when life sucks you under, you can kick against the bottom, break the surface, and breathe again. I learned that in the face of the void—or in the face of any challenge—you can choose joy and meaning." I can't think of a better topic for those graduates and for us: how to overcome adversity. As Sandberg says, "The easy days ahead of you will be easy. It is the hard days—the times that challenge you to your very core—that will determine who you are. You will be defined not just by what you achieve, but by how you survive."
Unfortunately, Sandberg failed to mention one brute fact: one day we won't break the surface again. There is only One who has surfaced from that enemy and survived to tell us about it and to deliver us from it and that is Jesus our Lord! Trust in Him!