Last night, the pain had me worried that I would not be able to get back to sleep. The doctors have given me pills to help me sleep in spite of the pain. But sometimes sleep is still difficult with this irritable body of mine… There have been times when the fight to sleep has been dreadful. I know that after such nights the next morning will probably be anywhere from difficult to a real battle. It is quite a struggle sometimes.
After such a night, I wonder why I should get moving in the morning. Do you face such pain in your life? There can be emotional pains that make getting up to face another day seem pointless. Significant relational pains can make life seem unbearable. I have not even touched on being haunted by memories of violence or violation, and all the other pains and losses that can make getting up in the morning seem impossible. Is it really worth it?
I have heard it said that humans can face anything if they believe that their life has meaning. What a thought that is! The very word meaning can sound so beautiful, and yet so elusive to those of us who feel or have felt caught in depression and hopelessness. How could our lives ever have meaning?
The search for meaning can take people many places. Have you ever thought that you found meaning? People try to find meaning in places such as careers, living vicariously through the success of other people (such as their children), sports, a good image in front of other people, physical beauty, general pleasure, various philosophies, and specific, even twisted “pleasures”. This list is not even exhaustive. It’s only a start, really. Perhaps you are trying to find meaning in one of these things, or something different. Perhaps you’re still searching.
Maybe there are good things in your life that you really do enjoy, that give you a true sense of happiness, or help you to feel fulfilled. Maybe you are blessed with good relationships with family members, or a job that you really love. Those are wonderful things to treasure, and they can indeed help you with the challenge of facing life. These sorts of blessings are certainly things to be thankful for. Would you say that you find some sense of meaning from your family or your work?
Do you believe that it could be true, that if you found meaning of some sort you could endure anything? I believe it’s true. I also believe that one needs a source of strength to be able to endure anything. I find my meaning and my strength from the same place: the God whom I believe in. He has been my beautiful, sufficient source of both meaning and strength, and I know he will continue to be so for the long run.
He gives me meaning because he loves me all the time. He promises that the hard things I am going through are like dissonant notes in a master composition, like nails being used by an architect to join boards to form his greatest creation. My pain is real, but what I believe is that it has a purpose. That is the meaning that I hold to.
So yes, I do have a reason to get up in the morning. That doesn’t make it easy. But my God also gives me the strength I need to make endurance possible. What I have found is that with every passing year, life may not be easier, but it is deeper, and it does indeed have more meaning to me. It is worth it.