Not that I am, in any way of course, complaining. I do see myself as a fairly patient man. That is, where others are overwhelmed and even pride fully shocked over seemingly trivial things, I accept them in stride. Even in situations where no one might suspect a discomfort, I have found one at least, and remained silent. Such as my friends seatbelt digging into my side the entire way home from Seattle for my birthday. So many cases can be given for this conclusion that I need not even begin, save for that previous example.
But I am, in no way of course, complaining. Though at times I do feel a special bond with the Apostle Paul, as he is writing to the church in Corinth about his sufferings, he states in verse 17 of chapter 11; “In this self-confident boasting I am not talking as the Lord would, but as a fool.” He begins this passage with that verse, and continues to list how he has suffered, so that he might relate with them. I imagine the Corinthians looking up to Paul and thinking things like, “He can do it, but that’s because he is disciplined! God has blessed him! The Lord provides for him! Of course he can do it!” And so Paul says very openly, “No. I am just like the rest of you; I have my trials and tribulations as well! But the difference lies in what I do about them, how I approach and respond to these things. Do I complain? Do I whine and give up and go home?” Vs 30; “If I must boast, I will boast of the things which show my weakness.” He is proving the power of Christ in his life to these people.
And so I say one more time, lest anyone should think less of me, or feel that I myself am foolishly boasting, that I am, in absolutely no way of course, complaining. I am showing the power of Him within me, attempting to relate myself with others. And so, I have had my fair share of sufferings, and continue to have them, especially as I move into this new lifestyle as a sailor. By the age of twenty-one, I have or have had the following…
When I was born, my patonductive valve did not close, causing heart enlargement as a baby. I had Asthma, which later reduced to RAD, Reactive Airway Disease until the age of 13. I threw up constantly for the first 2 years of my life. Intestinal problems, major cramps and pains, which I recently found out is due to the fact that I have Celiac Disease. I had a minor ulcer in middle school. Rushed to the emergency room countless times for choking on small food items. Have strictures in my esophagus. I have Esophogitus. I am partially lactose intolerant. I have Psoriasis on my knuckles. I have a fused lumbar spine. I had a tonsillectomy. I had 2 molars pulled. I had all four wisdom teeth extracted on the same day, and all four were impacted. I have tendonitis in both wrists. I have a receding gum line due to the type of bacteria in my blood. I have acne. (Trivial, I know.) I used to have it pretty bad, all over my body. Supposedly I have ADD. I used to get warts. I’ve had Pink Eye. I’ve had H1N1. I used to get Strep throat 4 times a year, prior to my tonsillectomy in 2006. I’ve had chicken pox and poison ivy. I’ve had ticks all over. I strained my left shoulder pretty bad somehow back in early high school. I dislocated my left knee in SERE school. I haven’t slept a straight night through since SERE school. (Sleep Apnea?) I have Restless Leg Syndrome. (I have to work out my legs every night or I won’t even fall asleep). I have love pains. (Again, trivial I know…but hey! I miss people so much…). I have high blood pressure. I am allergic to down and cats. Bipolar disorder? This might be the ADD.
Obviously, things only get worse as we get older. Thankfully, this body is just a suit. It is temporary. It’s funny, how people make such a big deal out of the eighty-or-so years we have right now. They fail to realize how what we do in this tiny measure of life determines where we will be for the rest of eternity. The Lord has made me the way I am, and I will praise Him! His power is perfected in my weakness! If I could control all or any of this, why would I need Him? Exactly.
I used to think I would be a good counselor. But now I find myself frustrated with people because of how often the whine and complain about things like having to work 8 hours, or having to work harder then they did at their last job, or complaining about having a tiny room with a bathroom, when they should be thankful they have even their own bed to sleep in. I realize, however, that what I am doing is comparing their suffering to mine. Of course we are different, of course we handle stress differently, and some, (ok quite a lot actually) get completely overwhelmed and shut down with the smallest things, where I am perhaps calloused to such mishaps. So the first step is realization, and having become conscious of this, I can move on to fixing the issue.
As always, advice and most definitely, prayer, are always welcomed and encouraged.