Please Pray For Me, I'm Having A Rough Time

by David J. Stewart | August 2021

       I am thankful to God for all my web visitors. For those of you who have followed my ministry for any length of time, you know that I am a sensitive person. That is the flipside of being a caring person. I care more than most people do; and contrawise, I am more emotionally sensitive than most people. That is why I love musical instruments so much, because it is a way for me to express my feelings. I like who God made me. I am glad that I care, and I do. I used to feel bad about myself for being sensitive at times, but in time I realized that this is just a part of being a loving and caring man. I am a tenderhearted person.

I am very opinionated. Pastor Jack Hyles used to tell us at Hyles-Anderson College in chapel: “There are more opinions per square foot at Hyles-Anderson College than any other place in the world.” Brother Hyles was right! I am opinionated, always objective about everything that I hear preached from any pulpit, and as the Bereans I “searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so” (Acts 17:11). Every believer ought to “SEARCH THE SCRIPTURES” (John 5:39), to “try” (test) everything with the Word of God to see if it is true (1st John 4:1).

I am thankful that I moved away from Guam in July of 2021. I needed a change in my life. I had been talking about moving for years, and I finally found the courage and strength to do it. I ate very healthy for months, preparing my body to move, losing 15 pounds and taking care of myself. I am in general good health, thankfully. Albeit, I have an old neck injury from being hit by a church bus in 1992. I was diagnosed with Cervical Degenerative Disk Disease in 2004 (stenosis, displaced disks and radiculitis). And then I fell at work in 2005, which worsened my injury, resulting in radiating pain in my limbs. I held off as long as I could to get surgery, concerned that I might end up paralyzed.

But in 2009 and 2010 I underwent two major neck surgeries (Anterior Cervical Discectomy And Fusion), hoping to get my perfect health back, but didn't. The first surgery corrected very sharp pain down my right arm, but didn't take away the chronic pain in my neck, and the constant whiplash feeling of tension. I was desperate for relief and wanted a second surgery. Unfortunately, the second surgery made me 100% worse, leaving me with both arms feeling inflated with air, and a burning sensation throughout the nerves in my body. The surgeon's nurse thought I shouldn't get the surgery, but the neurosurgeon said he thought he could help me. So I consented to the surgery. The nurse was cruel and scheduled me for April 1st, April Fool's Day. That hurt my heart, but I let them perform surgery on me an April Fool's Day, 2010.

I found out later that the surgeon was a crook, and I received a letter from the U.S. Office Of Inspector General, saying that a class action lawsuit and criminal charges had been made against my surgeon, and the hospital in Long Beach, California, for using illegal surgical hardware and a lucrative financial kickback scheme. The surgeon performed surgery on me to get the money, and evidently I didn't really need a second surgery. I still have the letter. That is so terrible.

My neck pain and tension literally started overnight in 2004, like a light-switch being flipped on. I have met with 8 neurosurgeons since 2004. Two of them said I have Cervical Osteoarthritis and there is no cure. I often have met well-meaning people who try to remedy my chronic pain, but nothing has helped alleviate my pain except Oxycontin. The cannabis oil, magnets, eating healthy foods, losing weight, ginger root, olive extract and other gimmicks haven't I believe that God gave us the opium plant for pain relief, from which the drug Oxycontin is derived.

Anyway, I live in a lonely world of constant pain and discomfort. I have difficulty sitting through a church service. I tend to lack patience, irritate easily, and I become vocal (or write) when frustrated. So I have to be careful. Since I am a caring and loving person, I tend to expect other people to be the same, and it causes conflict. 2nd Corinthians 12:15, “And I will very gladly spend and be spent for you; though the more abundantly I love you, the less I be loved.” The Apostle Paul realized that the people he had led to Christ hadn't suffered like he had. They couldn't relate to the depth of his passion, love and care. They couldn't reciprocate Paul's love. Paul realized that the more he loved people, the less they could reciprocate that love.

And so, I am in the same boat as Paul. The more I care about right doctrine, the less it seems that other preachers care about right doctrine. The more I care, the less it seems like other people care. The more I love, the less loved I feel. I sometimes get upset at pastors and churches, because they don't think the way I do. They don't reply to my emails as quickly as I would to them. They don't place an emphasis on truth as much as I do. This understandably causes conflict. So I am learning, as I grow older, to look to Jesus alone to fill the longing in my soul for all that I need. People will never be able to love me back, the way I want to be loved. No human being will ever understand my depth of passion, love and loneliness of soul except the Lord. Christ is all I need.

Pray for me dear friends, for God to give me wisdom. I am tired and hurting in both body and soul. Right now I am frustrated. I need to decide in the months to come if I am going to stay here in Pensacola for the next year at least (renting an apartment), or relocate to another city. For now I am surviving out of a suitcase in a cheap hotel. It is difficult to move forward in life while being in bodily pain all the time. I feel like a fish swimming up against the tide.

I became frustrated at Campus Church this week. I needed to know if I am welcomed at their church as a divorced man, and their pastor has told me that I am. Amen! As I mentioned, I tend to become impatient. I love Campus Church and plan to keep attending there for now. I exchanged some emails with the senior pastor, and he is a good man. I need to lay low and for now just attend church. The fiery preacher in me is like a lion sometimes, and I am quick to voice my opinion. I need to be careful with that. 1st Corinthians 6:20, “For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.” I want my articles to help people, not attack people. May God give me the wisdom to know the difference. Jesus is precious!

We can only take life as God gives it, one day at a time. There are only 24 hours in a day. God doesn't give us grace to handle tomorrow, He only gives us enough grace for right now, today. It is easy for us as individuals to think that the universe centers around us, but it doesn't. Jesus Christ is the center of the universe (Colossians 1:16-20). I have to constantly remember that life is not all about me. Since I am in pain all the time, it is easy for me to become selfish. It is hard to be spiritual when you are in chronic pain. I just want to settle down somewhere, buy a home, and continue labouring in my website ministry. That is my goal, Lord willing. Perhaps God has something different in store for me. It seems that the harder I pursue what I want in life, the farther away it runs from That is how life often works.

I believe God answers prayer. It may not seem like God is listening or answering, but we are never wasting our time when we pray. I have to believe this, because that is what the Bible teaches (Philippians 4:6-7; 1st Peter 5:7). I would appreciate your prayers. I have good days and bad days, like everyone else. Right now my body feels burning throughout my nerves, more than usual, because my body is trying to adjust to the change in my medications. I will meet with my new doctor again in two weeks. Hopefully she'll put me back on Oxycontin. We'll see. I am not in a position to make any demands. All I can do is humbly make a request. One day at a time. My happy thoughts right now are the Happy China Restaurant and the El Paso Mexican Grill, just blocks away from me. God is good.

I need to get settled somewhere, and that is the big thing for me right now. Will I stay or leave? I need to make a decision, because I cannot live in a hotel permanently. Please pray for God to help me figure this out. Thank you!

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