I’d rate my circumstances a two,

on a scale of 1-5, with 5 being tops.  Okay, maybe a one.  In the past, I have rated my circumstances a 3 or 3.5 in my monthly report to GospelFriendships boardmembers, and to the folks at WHM on my monthly report as supportcoach to new missionaries.   So, why the downgrade?  Not due to finances: God’s been moving folks to give extra at year-end, and finances are looking up.

For a long time now, I think I’ve been living in denial of how harrrd my circumstances are.  I tend to suck it up and keep going, making the best of things.   What’s so hard about my circumstances?

I have chronic sensitivities to many foods (garlic, onion, pepper, to name a few), mold, wireless signals, auto exhaust, and most chemicals.  And we live off of a busy intersection.  These sensitivities affect my digestive tract, which produces insomnia, and/or leaves me feeling lousy.  I’ve lived with this for 45 years, and been to every kind of medical specialist and alternative practitioner in many locales, tried multitudes of various therapies, drugs, supplements, sleep-clinics.  Nada.

My sleep/energy the past two years is the best it’s been over the past forty years, but I go to extreme measures each day just to get eight hours of sleep at night, and even then, my sleep is interrupted three times on a good night, and I’m up for several hours on a bad night, going through the following day sleep-deprived, feeling awful, wanting to die and be with Jesus.  My extremely restricted diet of certain organic-only foods, combined with exercise, sauna, keeping our windows closed all year, multiple air cleaners, anti-wireless strategies, not eating out, and a bunch of other strategies, have contributed to this improved sleep.   But my gut never ever stops throbbing.  Most humans would be depressed at the thought of having to modify their lifestyle in such drastic ways, and feel entitled to extreme-hardship pay.   It’s just what I have to do to get half-decent sleep, feel decently, so I’ve not usually dwelled on the hardships, tended to look at more positive things.   This denial has resulted in my unwittingly giving believers and pre-believers around me a false impression of normalcy, when in fact, my life is extremely challenging, complicated, and at times downright depressing.  Poor Janet has had to live with all this most of her married life.  Our oldest daughter strongly suspects that I’m mildly bipolar, and after reading up on the diagnosis, it makes sense to me.

I can tell you this.  It’s really hard to believe/trust/rest in Jesus, when you feel awful.  The times I feel good, are incredibly awesome, and life seems incredibly easy, with my mind razor sharp, reflexes quick, and with oodles of energy.   When I feel awful, I’m learning to thank Jesus for my feeling miserable, telling Him, “Whatever it takes to get me more dependent on You, that’s what I want, Lord, because that’s when I’m the happiest.  Thank You for these perfect circumstances, custom designed for me, exactly what I need, to be retrained in a better way to live.”  I’m convinced that my suffering, combined with the prayers of GospelFriendships Pray-ers for my faith life, have resulted in an amazing difference in my life, a remarkable Jesus-dependency at times, that I’ve long-dreamed of having.  I’m still a toddler in Jesus-dependency, but praise God I’m not where I usedtabe, and life is good, because of Him, and the Pray-ers who’ve prayed for more Jesus-dependency in my life.  I wouldn’t trade my life for anyone’s.  If Jesus can provide this for me, He can do it for anyone.   I am not special.   He is special, and able to change anyone, even someone as stiff-necked, thick-headed, and spiritually-learned-disabled as I.

–WeakDave, having the best years of his life, and thankful for friends who have prayed for him

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3 replies
    • WeakDave
      WeakDave says:

      Thanks, Todd! My circumstances ARE sad, but my life is priceless. Would not trade it with anyone’s. Now, if I could have easy circumstances, AND Jesus-dependency, well, I guess that’s what Heaven’s gonnabe. In the meantime, I seem to need sad circumstances to motivate me to grow more Jesus-dependent, at least that’s what I need these days, and what I’m saying is, IT’S A BARGAIN. 🙂

  1. WeakDave
    WeakDave says:

    You know, Todd, I regret using the phrase, “just wanna die and be with Jesus.” I was trying to consisely describe how hard my life is, but that phrase makes it sound like I’m suicidal at times, and I’ve never once had a suicidal thought. Though I remember when my brother took his life almost twenty years ago, thinking that though I don’t see the Bible giving us permission to take our own lives, suicide made sense to me, for someone for whom life is so hard. To be with Jesus, instead of struggling so much to make it through a day? Why not be with Jesus? I had empathy for the suicidal, and still do.

    About twenty-five years ago, when Jack Miller was going through chemo for cancer, after years earlier surviving a heart attack while in Uganda, and the effects on him of the chemo were rugged, I remember being struck by his fear of death, and thought to myself, “Why would any believer fear death? Death is easy compared to how hard it is living in a fallen world.” That’s how hard MY life seemed to me. Then I remember thinking a few years after that, when Jesus was becoming much more central to my everyday life, thinking, “Okay, I think I see better why Jack was fearful of death: he enjoyed living so much more than I was enjoying it at that time. While my circumstances are not any easier, I’m now enjoying living a lot more, and I don’t mind being here.”

    And today, I never think, “Oh I wish I were dead and with Jesus.” But I don’t fear death. Death would be easier. That’s how hard my life is. What I think about when my circumstances are the most rugged, is how He is using suffering, to grow me more dependent on Him, and I see that Jesus-dependency as such a precious, priceless thing, that that’s what keeps me going, when I feel awful.

    And Todd, I’m grateful for your sadness at learning how hard my life is, because that shows how much you love me, and want easy for me. I too want easy for me, but even better than easy circumstances, is Jesus, in my experience of Him. And my experience of Jesus convinces me that suffering is not a bad thing, when it comes from the hand of a Loving Heavenly Father, but rather a good thing, because it leads believers to Jesus-dependency, and there is nothing in this world so precious, in my experience. But suffering IS painful.

    I also regret not having shared more of myself, my rich inner world, with you, and your siblings, Todd, and with others who know me well, but it’s not been a conscious decision to exclude you guys, and others in my life: it’s just been my not giving much thought to how hard my life is, sucking it up, keeping on going, making the best of things. Thank you for your sadness, Todd. I love you very much, Dad


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