Whoever was still alive had reason for hope Viktor Frankl
Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of human freedoms- to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way
But God will never forget the needy; the hope of the afflicted will never perish. Psalm 9:18
I trust that many of my readers are familiar with Viktor Frankl. He was an Austrian psychiatrist, and a prisoner of Nazi concentration camps during World War II. He was a prisoner because he was Jewish.
During his time in the concentration camps, he witnessed the hopelessness and despair among many of the prisoners that one might naturally expect in such dreadful conditions. Frankl noted that those prisoners who gave up hope, those who did not see any meaning in life anymore, tended to die quickly. They had given up.
Those like Frankl, and the ones he tried to help in the camps, were able to see that, even in the most debasing of circumstances, there was something that could not be taken from them. They had a choice to hope.
Frankl survived the concentration camp experience, however his father and his wife did not. But Frankl’s story, tragic as it appears, was one of hope for many, because from it came his works about therapy and treatment of emotional problems. His ability to marry the concepts of human suffering with the remedy of hope and choice, gave rise to logotherapy. He infused psychiatry with a spiritual dimension framed in a positive light hitherto unseen in the field.
Hope is where we find it. Unfortunately, we might stop looking. Frankl endured terrible suffering, but he never completely lost hope because he found meaning in his suffering. He found that the Nazis could never imprison his mind, even if they had his body in prison.
We have been promised that God will never forget us in our time of need, even when we see no provision in front of us. The hope of his promises remains.
Prayer: Thank you Father for infusing us with a spirit of hope, a spirit beyond us, resting in you, Amen.