About the time I got into junior high school it became apparent that I was short. I truly didn’t want to be short. I wanted to be tall and muscular. But I was a shrimpy, scrawny kid and I didn’t like it. To make matters worse, all the girls were taller than me and for some reason they preferred taller guys.
About that time the teeth in my mouth (as opposed to the teeth on my forehead) started getting too crowded and began to deviate from the position they should have been into a jumbled mess that could only be described as chaotic.
It was about this time that I avoided smiling so as not to reveal my unsightly dental disaster. My self-confidence fell apart and I became insecure and afraid. I refused to let anyone else know about it, though, and so I became a loud, joking, over-compensating little guy that never let anyone know what was really going on inside of me. But when I was away from everyone else the loneliness and fear would overwhelm me.
Nobody likes me, everybody hates me,
I think I’ll go eat worms!
Big fat juicy ones,
Eensie weensy squeensy ones,
See how they wiggle and squirm!
I never actually considered eating worms but some of the things I did out of the rejection I felt made about as much sense as downing some dirty, slimy, headless red wigglers or night crawlers.
Dad never knew the depth of what I felt, I felt ashamed for feeling the way I did. He did, however, realize I hated being short and that I measured relentlessly hoping to find that I had grown a little, tiny bit. He used to tell me not to worry, he didn’t get his height until he was in the Air Force.
That wasn’t very much comfort, he had only reached the height of five feet six inches. I would think, “Oh boy! I get to be a twerp in high school and when I get out I will shoot up to being a shrimp!” Even now, when I get measured at the doctor’s office I try to stretch my spine and attempt to find that last half-inch to make it to five-ten. It never works.
I actually began to grow some and between the eighth and ninth grades I zoomed into the world of average and am very glad I did. But I was still the sarcastic, judgmental, insecure person I had become years before and my life was going to have some pretty tough times because of it.
Jeremiah 15:10 Then I said, “What sorrow is mine, my mother. Oh, that I had died at birth! I am hated everywhere I go. I am neither a lender who threatens to foreclose nor a borrower who refuses to pay—yet they all curse me.”
If you have known me, you have heard me speak of how great I am. You have heard me boast and put others down. You probably think I have always had a fan club of at least one because I have been so in love with myself.
In fact, I have lived in self-loathing and have tried to make a miserable self happy. It became an obsession and took over my life. I can finally see that I was going about things all wrong. Instead of allowing God to work in my life, I messed up my life. Even though I knew God wanted to fix things for me, I wouldn’t allow that to happen.
Jeremiah 15:11 The Lord replied, “I will take care of you, Jeremiah. Your enemies will ask you to plead on their behalf in times of trouble and distress.”
Jeremiah 15:15 Then I said, “Lord, you know what’s happening to me. Please step in and help me. Punish my persecutors! Please give me time; don’t let me die young. It’s for your sake that I am suffering.”
God has always promised to care for me. In fact, He has always cared for me. I have only made it more complicated. I have only added to my suffering. I am such a fool. I can’t fix my spiritual ills any more than I can fix being short or having crooked teeth.
Many of the solutions to my problems don’t come when I think it is imperative that they arrive but they come in God’s perfect timing. I have thought several times that the prophet Jeremiah was a fool for arguing with God. But the truly foolish thing to do is to not argue and decide to disobey. Jeremiah was honest before God unloading all the baggage he carried and God enlightened him. I need to read more about this guy that at times seemed like a whiny cry-baby and see what more I can learn.
God, help me to bring my fears and doubts to your feet. Help me remain there and hear You. Give me understanding that I might not sin against You and those around me. Carry my pain and give me patience to grow at the pace you have in mind. Amen.