Humans are herd animals. We congregate with friends and family; we share ideas. So why when many of us face trials, do we head for solitary caves and refuse the aid of others?

We can’t successfully endure hardships alone.

When Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Post Viral Neurasthenia left me bedridden, I had no energy for visitors. Conversation taxed my cognitive abilities. Just sitting caused me physical distress as blood pooled in my legs and lower arms, making my skin feel like tight, ready-to-break balloons. Lacking the strength to stay upright, I’d be forced to support my head—seeming as heavy as a brawny man’s bowling ball—against a wall or seatback until I had the opportunity to lie back down again.

So, how did God answer my prayers to endure? He put people in my life to help me through that 18-year trial. A golden circle of human angels who listened to me on the phone and shared their lives. They brought me lunch and gave me former possessions I could use. They showed me I still mattered. That I was relevant. Through demonstrating their affection, they brought sun to the sunken depths of my life, making my misery more tolerable.

Others benefit by helping us.

Our loved ones feel helpless when we suffer. I’ve experienced—as I imagine all of you have—the utter desperation of seeing someone important to me mired in a bad situation where I can’t change their circumstances. This leads me to wonder if my family and friends agonized more during my years of illness than I did, because they couldn’t make me well. After all, I had some control over my deteriorated health: the power in how I responded to my situation.

By allowing my loved ones to come to my aid, I believe I gave them some comfort knowing they’d made a difference in my life.

We all suffer debilitating lows.

Every one of us, at one time or another, falls into the abyss. It’s through enduring our darkest, most desperate days that we more fully appreciate the sweetness of our summits.

Accept the assistance of others. And step forward to help those in need. Let God make you an answer to someone’s prayer.