Each of us will have a different definition of "hard," of course.
Most of us know of individuals stuck in life situations or in physical circumstances they desperately long to change or escape, but held fast by love or by realities that keep them there.
Years ago I read--and never forgot--one man's story. His book changed me and lifted my way of thinking. Maybe it will bless you, too.
His name was Viktor Frankl, a psychiatrist with a life story hard to top.
Frankl lived through the worst of the worst
During World War II, Frankl, a psychiatrist, and his wife Tilly were transported to Auschwitz and separated. She was sent to one camp and he to Dachau, where he spent five months as a slave laborer. Then he was moved to another camp where he worked as a physician caring for other prisoners until the Americans liberated him in March 1945.
In the concentration camps Frankl had everything and everyone stripped away from him. During those three years his wife, mother and brother all died in the concentration camps. Only Viktor survived the Holocaust. (His sister Stella had escaped from Vienna earlier by emigrating to Australia.)
Viktor returned to war-ravaged Vienna, his thinking radically changed by his experiences. In the concentration camps Frankl came to the conclusion that human beings have the capacity to choose life, no matter what happens to them. That became the theme of his life and his writings. According to Wikipedia, the first book he wrote after his return from the camps was titled Nevertheless, Say "Yes" to Life.
That book later became Man's Search for Meaning, the book I read.
Frankl died in 1997.
Useful Frankl quotes for you and me
Instead of just reading through these, why not chew on them, one by one? Someone I used to know often said to look for the thoughts that "hit you and fit you."
Forces beyond your control can take away everything you possess except one thing, your freedom to choose how you will respond to the situation.
Life is never made unbearable by circumstances, but only by lack of meaning and purpose.
Those who have a "why" to live, can bear with almost any "how."
When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.
Our greatest freedom is the freedom to choose our attitude.
Our ultimate example
Yes, I admire Viktor Frankl, what he endured and what he had to say.
Yet no human being can match the unforgettable words of our Savior, who knew what suffering lay ahead:
Then said Jesus, "Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do." And they parted his raiment, and cast lots. --Luke 23:34 (KJV)