Sunday greetings everyone.
There was no mailing last Chicken Thursday because I was not feeling very well when it came time to put the final touches on the issue and send it out.
I have been having stomach problems on and off for the past year. At first some diet changes were helping, but in the last couple of weeks there have been a couple more painful episodes. Not all the diagnostic tests I should have are available right now (a number of our local medical labs are closed due to short-staffing because so many workers have COVID) but my doctor has begun treating me for an ulcer because that is what the symptoms point to. To be completely open, it was probably stress that caused the recent flare ups.
The above is really more details than I would usually go into here, but stomach ulcers are one of those medical things that can come with a stigma, especially in the Christian community where worry and anxiety are viewed by some as a failure to trust or have faith in God. Many of the people who default to this view forget that when Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane, knowing the time for his crucifixion was close, his sweat was like drops of blood. Many believe that was hematohidrosis, a condition brought on by incredible stress. Given what Jesus knew was coming, as he willingly became the sacrifice for the sins of the world, I am one of those people who believes it was just that.
Now, I am not putting my stress on par with what Jesus faced. But my sister's passing at the end of 2021 did have my stomach in knots - and my mind in numb - for many days. That piled a load on top of other stress I have because of my business, which is growing and stretching me to grow in areas that are very new to me. I know many people wished they had that problem, but it's a problem just the same because even in good things, being outside of one's comfort zone still can take a toll.
The fact is, life happens to all of us and sometimes that means there will be valleys we pass through that impact us physically, mentally and/or emotionally. In Psalm 23, David took comfort that God was with him in those valleys. That is an encouraging reminder to me and all of us who have placed our faith in Jesus. He is with me/us too. Many of David's other Psalms (and his life story) also encourage me because there were many times when David was a hot mess because of stress! Basically, depending on what you read from David, one ends up either wanting to be more like him or less!
If I do indeed have an ulcer, I am confident God will bring me through and teach me what I need to learn about myself and the course forward from here. I'm not going to add stress to myself by pretending I don't have stress because some people want to be "judgy" to help them ignore the reality that they may not always be able to prevent the effects of stressful times in their own life.
Today's video share is stress related; in a fun way. I regularly watch the YouTube channel, "How Ridiculous." The three young lads on this channel have fun doing ridiculous things that are a ridiculous source of entertainment for me, such as popping the world's largest balloon.
Click here to watch the video.
Enjoy the rest of today's mailing!
~ Pastor Tim