"The soul is where hope lives; not a naïve hope that I will, by some miracle, have my former self restored, but hope that tomorrow, and the day after, can still be days from which a measure of joy, and meaning can be derived. And from hope springs optimism that, even with great limitations, there is life to be lived." Thomas Graboys "Finding Hope in the Midst of Despair: My Decade with Parkinson's Disease and Lewy Body Dementia"
I just finished the book "Brain Storms" by Jon Palfreman last night and reflected on those people in my life who have or were given the challenge of a long term (and slow term) disease. The emotional toil of this for the individual and their loved ones can be difficult and trying. Understanding the causes and implications of suffering and then dealing with a future view of continued suffering is part of the human condition. But the final sentence of the quote above hit me squarely in the heart - "There is life to be lived."
So we cope, we depend on others, we search for meaning in spite of the suffering. For many it reveals a path to hope and joy within their soul. And for many this is a glimpse into who God is. Suffering has a place for each of us - a way to see limitations and possibilities. But most of all it shows us that we need more than ourselves.
"Suffering compels us to seek the God that success makes us think we don't need." Patrick Morley "How GOD makes men"