“Why am I such a misfit? I am not just a nit wit! I'm an adorable reindeer. Why don't I fit in?” I’ve had this song going through my mind for the past couple of weeks. Do you recognize it? It’s a Burl Ives song called “Misfits.” Most people know the song because of the old Christmas movie, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.
Yes, I know it’s almost June and nowhere near time for Christmas, but I do have a good reason for singing this song, even though it’s almost summer. Over the past month, I’ve gotten more emails from people who are experiencing a problem they never expected to happen. Literally, every day I hear from another person who’s run into this problem, and everyone is flabbergasted by what’s happening and what to do about it. The problem? The health care reform bill that was passed last year is now targeting people living with a chronic illness. Suddenly, insurance is no longer paying for medicine for which it once paid. In some cases, pharmacies aren’t even allowed to give out the medicine, even if the patient is willing to pay full cost. Some people are suddenly being turned away by physicians, and they are having to see alternative health doctors. I even know of some people who are having to find doctors in different states from their own who are willing to help them. In essence, everyone living with a chronic illness has hit the proverbial brick wall. And the one comment I hear over and over again is this: “I feel like I’m being told that I don’t matter, like I have no value because I’m sick. Just because I'm different - a misfit - shouldn't mean my life doesn't count.”
Living with a chronic illness is hard. Every day, we have to choose to get out of bed in the morning despite the exhaustion, pain, and weakness we feel. Whether or not you realize it, you make a decision to fight your illness each day because you want to live. All of us are literally fighting for our lives. That’s hard enough for a person to deal with, so suddenly being unable to get the necessary medication and treatment to help win that fight is beyond discouraging. It’s disheartening. It makes it easy to think, “Why bother?”
As I was dealing with these thoughts and feelings last week, God began to remind me of all the misfits in the Bible – the people who didn’t belong, who stood out from the crowd because they were different: Noah, Moses, Joseph, Rahab, Ruth, Esther, Nehemiah, Daniel, Jeremiah, and the list just goes on.
Stop and think about it. Every person God used in a huge way for His kingdom was a misfit. They were different from everyone around them. Often, they were faced with insurmountable odds. Yet, these were the people that God chose to use. Personally, I believe it’s because of their status as a misfit. They knew they had to rely on God, and that is what made their lives so great. They knew they needed a mighty God to act on their behalf, and because of that need, they clung to God and relied on His help and strength.
“You shall fear the Lord your God. You shall serve Him and cling to Him. For He is your praise, and He is your God, who has done these great and awesome things for you which your eyes have seen.” ~ Deuteronomy 10:20-21
© May 23, 2013