Monday, October 5, 2009

Hope Side by Side With Suffering Part 1

Lamentations.  Grief, sorrow and cries for mercy have been flowing from my lips and dropping from my eyes with great frequency of late. In the process of lamenting over my suffering, the notion of having hope amidst the grief has produced some friction within me. How can great sorrow and great hope coexist? How can I bellow about the state of my life and about the pain that refuses to relent, yet have hope? 
In this three part series, I journey to understand hope together with suffering.

When I think of what I am hoping for in regards to my health, the short list of what comes to mind are the following: 
*that I find a the preventative(s) and dose(s) that will make a difference toward better Migraine and NDPH management.
*that I will not have a Migraine on important days like holidays, appointments, family get-togethers, or dates with a friend.
*that today will be a day where I can get out of bed, get off the couch and go grocery shopping, do housework, and become somewhat of  "normal" person.

But, these things I hope for do not create firm ground beneath my feet. Each of the aforementioned cases are cases of circumstantial hope where hope is dependent on something else to happen. When another medication trial is a bust, I can lose hope. When my abortive and rescue medications fail to bring relief, I can lose hope.  When I spend two weeks in a hospital only for the doctor to say, "we have to discharge you because there is nothing more we can do right now", hope is like a seed in my hand that is so tiny it can slip through my fingers and fall to the ground and sometimes it does.

Circumstantial hope rises and falls based on my state of being. This is not to say that circumstantial hope is bad. In fact, it is necessary in keeping me sane and gives me the motivation to put one foot in front of the other. The hope for a better preventative regimen, for abortive and rescue medications that I can count on, and for IV intervention that brings relief are all vital in my forward movement in the management of my health.

Hebrews 11:1 says,
Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.
In reading this verse, I would venture to surmise that faith and hope are akin to each other. The kind of hope spoken of in Hebrews 11:1 is not circumstantial. It is certainty. The verse almost begs the question, what is it that I am certain about? And in the answer is where hope dwells. This certain hope is a firm foundation where I can go when all other hope fails.

In Part Two, I'll be exploring how suffering can coexist with certain hope.

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