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The Problem With Downsizing Your Battle

I think I’ve mentioned already that people tend to tell me their stories much more freely now that I am in a substantial battle of my own.  They used to tell me with a sort of “what could you possibly know about suffering” skepticism.  Now, it seems they share their story and invariably end it with, “…but it’s nothing compared to what you’re going through.”


I get that ALS is bad and difficult. Oh, I really do get it.  However, what I’m figuring out is that people tend to underestimate their own suffering.  It’s good and positive to focus on the “things could always be worse” angle to maintain a mindset of gratitude.  However, I also think downplaying our own battle is dangerous if it makes us feel the primary responsibility for winning it.


Bottom line: we all need divine assistance to survive this life and come out more beautiful on the other side.  We need Him in the battles that circle around money and ministry and kids and work and relationships and health and marriage and on and on.  No cry for help qualifies more than another.  No need is more worthy of His attention.  Our great God listens, loves and lives to come to our rescue.   I love this…


Yet the LORD longs to be gracious to you; therefore he will rise up to show you compassion. For the LORD is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him!  Isaiah 30:18



We don’t have a punch card of “supernatural saves” available and when they’re gone, we’re on our own.  We can invite Him into every struggle that is too big for our wisdom, strength or smarts (for me that means most of them!)  He longs to be gracious to you – isn’t that the best news ever?


Happy to Have a Hero,



August 5, 2013 - 1:36 pm

Tracy - The cool thing about God’s provision during battles is that when you are through to the otherside you can look back and know two things: #1 you could do it all over again because you wouldn’t trade the blessings for anything and #2 it really doesn’t seem like that hard of a battle in comparison with what others are battling because Gods provision and presence was so great it makes the pain seem so small. Battles without God would be horrible! God makes all things work together and for that I’d battle all over again. Standing with you!

August 6, 2013 - 9:05 pm

Jennifer Sheldon/Martin - I tend to disagree with you. Just so you know where I’m coming from. I am a Christian, and I do agree with you and get your point that “we all need divine assistance’ and that we need God to help make it through our battles. Even the little daily battles. I do disagree with your saying, “downplaying our own battle is dangerous if it makes us feel the primary responsibility for winning it”. I have had 3 kidney transplants, and have been on dialysis several years at certain times. I also now have blood clots in each brachial vein, and my superier vena cava. Now my heart randomly goes into A-fib every so often. I have to run to the E.R. when that happens so they can shock my heart back into rhythm, so I am familiar with battles. When I downsize my battles, it is not just “to maintain a mindset of gratitude although it does help with my attitude. Sometimes it is simply to make the other person feel better about their battle, to give them strength and encouragement to go on. When I “feel the primary responsibility for winning” my battles, it helps give me the fight I need to make it through that battle. Without that “fight”, I would be tempted to give up the battle. I also know I need God to help me get through a battle, but downsizing it doesn’t necessarily mean that I am underestimating my own suffering. Downsizing my battle is just giving me fight I need to survive.

August 6, 2013 - 9:33 pm

bo - Tracy and Jennifer –

Great points from both of you. We all see battles from different perspectives and can learn a lot from each other.

Jennifer, I wish you peace and renewed strength for your ongoing physical fight.

August 7, 2013 - 4:26 am

Adriel Booker - “No cry for help qualifies more than another. No need is more worthy of His attention.” // I think I need this tattooed on my forehead – backwards, so I can read it every time I look in the mirror.

So good, Bo. x