That light at the end of the tunnel? An oncoming train?


Today’s entry was written in response to one of my reader’s struggles and questions in the face of a very difficult set of circumstances. I think we all share similar thoughts when crisis hits.

You’re right. There aren’t many modern day Jobs. In fact, even in Job’s time he was unique. He wasn’t at all common. Then, and now, the Job character type is the same. I look at:

Joni Erickson Tada. Teenager – dives in shallow water – quadriplegic – goes through thoughts of suicide and severe depression – learns to paint holding a brush in her teeth. 1986 marries! Recently diagnosed with breast cancer. She can’t do the most basic task for herself. She loves God, praises him and works like crazy advocating for people with disabilities. She speaks all across the country encouraging people to put their faith in Jesus.

Tony Melendez – born with no arms – learned to play guitar with feet – played for Pope. Today is a motivational speaker, tours with his band and is active in the pro-life movement.

My life is easy compared to Job and compared to these two people. And, if you believe my battle is easier than yours, I cannot argue with you. It could have been so much worse. There are many who have it much worse than me.

But, I will disagree vehemently with conclusions you’ve made about your own ability to affect change. I believe there is always hope! No one is powerless.

Job didn’t praise or serve God because of what he did for Job or for past blessings. Job understood that God is God Sovereign. To not bless or worship Him is a fatal mistake. Job knew that and that’s why he argued so readily against his wife and friends. I pray that should I lose my wife and kids or face rejection of this new liver that I, like Job, will remember that God is God regardless of the state of my life.

I remember the night in March when I coded. I was minutes away from death. A severe reaction to an antibiotic caused my tongue to swell so large that it would not fit in my mouth. It closed off my airway. I remember the alarms and medical staff running into my room. I remember hearing them frantically bark out commands for injections of this and that. It sounded just like TV. I remember them tossing me around like a rag doll to get me into a better position. And then, I remember coming to with a plastic oxygen mask over my face and the infectious disease doctor asking me assessing questions. I saw 12-14 medical staff members surrounding my bed in a solid yellow circle because of the yellow gowns they all wore. Every eye was on me and the tension was palpable. I said something like, “Hello everyone. Thanks for coming to my party.” The laughter broke the tension and you could feel a collective sigh of relief.

I’d be lying if I told you I was not scared. But, somehow, I also had peace. I was in that hospital bed for 25 days. My condition was deteriorating even more. The friends who visited me looked at me with eyes that told me just how bad I looked. I could see that seeing me was painful for them. I remember my mom crying and saying goodbye to me during a particularly bad patch. It wasn’t a “see you tomorrow” type of goodbye. It had a ring of finality to it.

Losing my job, losing my house, suffering continuously and not even able to remember my own phone number was so painful. I lost driving privileges and my independence. I sat alone in my house day after day and often fell asleep on the occasional visitor. Other times visitors energized me and, for awhile, I felt normal.

I cried out to God, I screamed at him, I sang and read His book, I wanted to die and I wanted to live. But, I always knew that He is God and worthy of my praise. Sometimes I had to make myself give him honor.

God does not exist to serve me. He doesn’t need my praise because he’ll make the rocks and trees give him praise if I don’t. Because he is loving and because he has told me to ask for the desires of my heart, I do ask him to provide, to make me well and give me strength. Like every parent, only perfect and omniscient, he does not give me everything I want. He gives me what I need to mold me to reflect his character.

My friend, I am thankful I have gone through this past year. I’ve grown and changed in so many ways. I wouldn’t wish this on anyone but I am thankful. My faith, my trust, my love is somehow deeper or more real now. I can’t really explain it.

Tonight I had a fever of 101.5 at one point. Fevers for transplant recipients can mean anything from infection to rejection. I pray that it is nothing. But, if it is, I am determined to bring my God glory no matter what. Why?

God is God Sovereign. To project human frailties and characteristics onto him and evaluate him by human standards is just plain silly. I DO NOT want God to be like me and play by my selfish rules and expectations. I want to be like him.

I know you are hurting. I know you’ve suffered heartache, I know you’ve lot your job and I know your friends have abandoned. Your life sucks right now but that doesn’t mean it will suck forever. You will have days when you laugh and love again. You will have time when life is good again. I believe it with my whole heart. I wish you would too.

My hope is built on nothing less
than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
but wholly lean on Jesus’ name.
On Christ the solid rock I stand,
all other ground is sinking sand; all other ground is sinking sand.

When Darkness veils his lovely face,
I rest on his unchanging grace.
In every high and stormy gale,
my anchor holds within the veil.

About Scott Linscott

Living life to the fullest, walking in the dust of my Rabbi, creating art through photography and written word, speaking words of hope and encouragement at conferences, workshops, church and civic gatherings.
This entry was posted in anger, depression, hopeless, Liver disease and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to That light at the end of the tunnel? An oncoming train?

  1. sexyjean99 says:

    Someone just forwaded the ad to me about friends sticking w u in crisis….the ad is about mental illness, but instead insert “crisis”.

    bottom line: I think the friend list goes down when ur not swelling in positivity.

  2. Aunt Betty says:

    thank you Scott, I think you ,me and God are the only ones that know what I am going thru. I needed your post today. you have lifted my spirits today. I thank you so

  3. sexyjean99 says:

    BTW, there was a study done I couldnt find w/in 5 mins, but I did find one that basically said the same thing….in Science Daily ’10, they showed that good attitude survival for lung cancer 5 yrs….33% vs. bad attitudes 22%. They are beginning to show that attitude does matter, even in health.

    Ur struggles arent less than say mine or many, but ur ATTITUDE makes it better for turnaround than most.

    But, in the “bad attitudes” camp defense, not everyone wants this bad ‘tude but they just dont have any support ….kind of like running for a finish line w 10 people screaming ur name vs. no one.

    This doesnt have to mean theyre an oger. Ex: this could be a recent divorcee (friends scatter) that didnt have kids and maybe their parents are gone.

    what do u remind urself of most often when a hint of being angry w God shows up?

  4. Anonymous says:

    God bless you Scott. I totally agree with you. I went through a very debilitating illness myself two years ago. It was living hell, and something that I never felt I would ever recover of heal from. I was at the end of my ropes, and though not a Christian at the time, I asked the Lord Jesus to take me, to end my life. I would cry for hours on end, and could not function enough to remember if I had taken my medicine or not, or go into a grocery store. Why me? What did I do? Please end this anxiety and depression. “Oh please Jesus, please” I would beg. Gradually I got better through the love and support of my family, the medication I needed to take but mainly because of Jesus Christ. If it were not for Him, I would not have made it, and no one can take that away from me or tell me differently. What was once a life lost in hopelessness became one full of faith, love and generosity.

    Since then I have lost my job joining my partner who had lost their job as well. Would we lose the house? our cars? our animals? How would we make it? Well those are questions I would ask and dwell on in despair before I was ill, but my faith was so strong that we moved forward. My ex-wife died March 2, 2011 unexpectedly and I had to be there for me kids more than ever to support them emotionally and love them the best I could. And while they have not yet accepted Jesus as their own savior yet, He guided my words and my actions to better help them deal with their grieve and depression. And now they know His name so very well. There were other tragedies and disappointments, but rather than sit on my duff feeling sorry for me self, I trained to become a Stephens Minister through my church, I helped build a house with Habitats of Humanity, became a hospice caregiver and continue to work with the homeless and poor in my community. I say this not to brag but to tell you just how much Christ changed me, as I was a very selfish man at one time.

    I look back now and realize what Christ had given me was a gift, a blessing. Walking through the despair and severe depression of my own hell, I came to know Christ and I have never looked back. Instead of worrying about all my problems, as I have pretty much lived on the verge of losing all things material, and not sure how I am going to deal with no job and no unemployment check, my faith has just gotten stronger and stronger. As long I have Jesus I have everything I need. I look back over the last two years and see his footprints on my journey — He has never let me down. I might not get things the way I want but they come, and though it has been very hard dealing with my losses, Linda, my aunts Mary, especially Dianne, my father-in-law and grandmother, I know they are with Him. I do plan to go to grad school in theology because I want to know more about God, and I want to share the joy He has brought to my life.

    I am sorry Scott if I took up too much space or time with this, but I too thought I had the curse of Job, but in fact it was the blessings of Christ. Never ever give up because Jesus will give you all the love and support you will ever need.

    Thank you for allowing me to share. And by the way, it was my sister Julie Goodwin, who send me your blog initially and I have had the opportunity to share your experiences, and I am very grateful for that. She too is a blessing (and one hellava pie maker!!). Continue the fight Scott!!

    Norm

    • sexyjean99 says:

      Norm, that was a great story. U got Scotts blog same as me thru a friend that knew I could relate to crisis.

      My chg is still being written, but I know one thing, I am certain Ive become more compassionate to the unemp., to the singles, & even to those living alone. Ur an example of what my Dad says….”not in ur timing”. I wanted X now. In ur case, like u said, uve maybe become a more loving/understanding Dad during a time for others that maybe u wouldnt have understood as well earlier.

      I just thought of something….maybe thats why bad things happen to good people …God feels if he does one event he can make us a 9/10, while the evil people need 8 events and its too much!!! hahah Kind of like how we do easy tasks on our desks before the really hard ones.

  5. sexyjean99 says:

    A lot in the blog above!

    a. We live in a competitive world….
    People are always comparing ea other, even TV shows are all based on competitions vs. helping ea other. I always wonder about evil people getting stuff while good people suffer. Its been on my mind a lot and Im still searching. eg. I know a woman that cheated on her husband w his best friend. She ends up w a million $ house on the water, 1/2 his acct. He lived in a tattered apt. My heart hurt for a man I didnt even know….and I thought why did God allow that?

    My Dads answer is “not in the time I want, but Gods time” she will pay. Do u think thats true??? Or is it all willy-nilly not based on fairness?

    b. Ur amazing!!!
    I dont know anyone that has been in their hospital bed as sick as a dog still thinking of others….writing, praising. Its out there. Im going to say u represent maybe 1% of the population (Ive known many). Besides ur faith, where did u get that unselfish behavior?? Where are its roots??

    c. Faith. How to get it, how to keep it.
    Id like to take a poll. How many people would turn off God if say 8/10 items in their life turned stinkpot? Not just a little smelly. U dont want to hear this, but I say its hi.

    Its way beyond me how that paralyzed girl w cancer would give praise to God (I say what others are thinking, but dont want to admit).

    Theoretical q…..does a loving God only care about HIS PLAN? Doesnt that alone seem selfish?? How is that balanced with ur prayers and wishes??

    I think I could keep u busy w ur sermons when u get back on ur feet (which was never a doubt in my mind)

  6. julie goodwin says:

    Beautifully said.
    This encourages me and reminds me that God IS God, and He is good all the time, despite my circumstances.
    Thank you for the timely reminder.
    May God bless you and your family. And yes, blueberry pie…you got it!

What are you thinking? Tell me!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s