Last week I met a remarkable man. Because of a diving accident in his youth, he had been a quadriplegic for most of his life. But Walt doesn’t consider this a reason to see life through dirty lenses. Each day when I saw Walt and I asked, “How are you?” he responded, “Absolutely Spectacular!” Thursday he must have been having a bad day. When I greeted him he downgraded his response to “Nearly spectacular.”

Walt reminds me of a lawyer I met who directs a child development project for Compassion in El Salvador. This man only practices law two day’s per week so that he can give the alpha dog’s share of his time to the children. His challenges are as persistent as mosquitoes. Yet when this man of faith is asked how he is faring, his response is consistently, “Always in victory!”

These days I find myself struggling to keep my breathing apparatus above the waves in very rough waters. I don’t feel very victorious or spectacular. As I’ve weighed my response to the inevitable “How are you” question, in light of these remarkable men I’ve met, I’ve wondered how to respond authentically while keeping my outlook positive. How can I honour both my feelings and my faith?

In reality, I’m not always noticeably in victory. I’m not absolutely spectacular. But I am always, ALWAYS, blessed! I am surrounded by supportive family and friends. I live in a great country and enjoy a lofty standard of living compared to most of the world. I am involved in work that is making a difference. And even if all of this were not true or were suddenly removed from me, the bedrock of my blessing remains. I have been adopted into God’s family. My Papa-God walks beside me and will never abandon me. He constantly supplies me with the strength for whatever lies in the path ahead. I am blessed every moment of every day. If I’m grieving, frustrated, or nearly spectacular – I am always in victory – whether I feel like it or not. I am blessed.