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Milton was blind. Beethoven was deaf. Helen Keller was blind, deaf and dumb. Alfred the Great was afflicted with a disease that did not allow him an hours rest. Homer, Virgil, Horace, Pascal, Dante, Hawthorne, Carlisle, Bacon, Livingston and Ruskin were all invalids - semi or confirmed.
Author John R. Gunn reminds us that, "Many men and women who have achieved great things have been tortured with some physical infirmity. Naturally we regard bodily affliction as a misfortune, but many times it is a misfortune which proves to be the shrine of a larger fortune. Often, the brightest characters and greatest successes come out of suffering. It seems as though suffering is sometimes necessary to develop ones latent powers and possibilities."
There was given to me a thorn in the flesh, says Paul. Yet what a career he achieved in spite of that thorn. Physical affliction may handicap us, but it does not necessarily preclude the possibility of achieving something worthwhile. If you have a thorn in the flesh, it will do no good to complain and whimper. To surrender and give up would be an ignoble thing, instead remember these people who have suffered and achieved. Then accept your thorn in the flesh as a challenge to prove yourself.; a challenge to prove what you can do inspite of infirmity. It is the size of his spirit and not the weight of his burden that makes a man great.
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