Think of it this way . . .     

Have you ever suffered to the point of wishing you were dead (even though you probably didn’t mean it)? It was just a reflexive outcry for relief from severe hurting. Most of us will experience this in our lifetime. Being plagued by this type of chronic physical pain may also result in mental and emotional anguish. 

After major back surgery some years ago, the doctor said I would need a second. With back pain beginning again to impair my getting around, I decided to see a pain-

management doctor hoping to put off another dreaded back surgery. At this same time, I also experienced a detached retina in one eye, which required surgery, of course. I had absolutely no clue about the arduous rehab for this. My head is supposed to be down (parallel to the ground) for three to four weeks! Too, I shouldn’t expect to have sight back in that eye for four to six months! Did someone say, “ORDEAL?” Oh, yeah, I did. But, did you ever look up the definition?

     1. a primitive means used to determine guilt or innocence by submitting the accused to dangerous or painful tests believed to be under supernaturel control (How interesting! – JD)

     2. a severe trial or experience                                           

Think of ordeal as a kind of judgement, as in “trial by fire.” The idea includes, then, a testing of one’s character by showing their true colors. In undergoing any ordeal, especially if it’s intense and long, one may succumb and crumble or see it through with an attitude of “I’ll buck-up, pray and try to get through this.”

We need not, necessarily, allow suffering to define us. If we try to have a deter- mined, positive mental attitude, we will realize the worth of our agony and the consequent gain. Then we may truly come to understand and be able to empathize with others who are suffering, and, through our mutual encouragement of each other, we are made stronger in character and endurance. Hang in there, partner!

-John D.  

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