Chronic Wasting Disease: The Human Form

Chronic wasting disease – Most cases of CWD occur in adult animals. The disease is progressive and always fatal. The most obvious and consistent clinical sign of CWD is weight loss over time. Behavioral changes also occur in the majority of cases, including decreased interactions with other animals, listlessness, lowering of the head, blank facial expression, repetitive walking in set patterns, and a smell like meat starting to rot. In elk, behavioral changes may also include hyperexcitability and nervousness. Affected animals continue to eat grain but may show decreased interest in hay. Excessive salivation and grinding of the teeth also are observed. Most deer show increased drinking and urination.

iStock_000012493520SmallHere in Pennsylvania the DCNR has warned hunters this season of Chronic Wasting Disease. I’m not a hunter, but being an outdoors guys with a love for hiking I have seen first and the effects of the disease on our local deer population. A few years ago, watching a herd of deer graze around local farmers fields in the early evening hours was common. This season it’s not the hunters taking out the deer, but rather this fatal disease.

There is another form of chronic wasting disease that can run rampant in the lives of people. It has similar affects on humans as the one that is infecting whitetail deer. Behavioral changes, decreased interaction, blank or frustrated facial expressions and lowering of the head.

Bear with me, I’ll make my point here shortly….

The chronic wasting disease I see that affects people are those wasting valuable time stressing, worrying and being miserable about things they can’t control. Worse yet are the ones that stress, worry, and are miserable over things they CAN control by a simple decision. This form of chronic wasting disease not only affects the person with it, but can also infect others around them. It’s said that misery loves company. As for me, I prefer to avoid that kind of company. I don’t mean to sound cold or callous, but personally if I find myself around people with this kind of chronic wasting disease for too long it tends to infect me, brings me down and sometimes frustrates me. For the most part I keep my displeasure of their chronic cranky condition to myself and take the opportunity to offer some encouragement and support. To shine the light of Jesus into their life in hopes they will see where true joy comes from.

Don’t get me wrong, in no way am I implying I haven’t suffered from this disease myself. As a matter of fact I’m talking about it because it’s something I found myself suffering from not too long ago. What cured me from this disease? One word, a name…JESUS!

There are things in my life I have faced and still facing that I have NO control over. So why worry about it, stress over it and be miserable? Then there are things in my life I CAN control by a simple decision. So why worry about it, stress over it and be miserable? I’m also NOT saying that stress and worry can be totally avoidable. If I could avoid both completely I’d be perfect, for which I am not. Stressful moments will come. Worry will come. How I handle both is a choice. Allowing them to infect us to the point of developing “chronic wasting disease” is a result of a choice. It’s no ones fault but our own if we allow things to infect and affect us that bad.

Jesus himself tells us not to worry or be anxious for anything. He reminds us throughout scripture that He is in control, not us. He teaches us from Genesis to Revelations to trust Him. And He’s the one that can provide true joy and peace. It’s not by anything from the outside or in this world, but rather from the inside, the power of Christ within us. But to have this power inside, this true joy, we must make a choice to allow Him to do His thing, to let Him in so His power can project out.

Matthew 6:34 – “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.”

Philippians 4:6 – Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.

Psalm 20:5 – May we shout for joy when we hear of your victory and raise a victory banner in the name of our God. May the Lord answer all your prayers.

Chronic wasting disease (worry, stress, and being miserable), it’s easy to spot; behavioral changes, decreased interaction, blank or frustrated facial expressions and lowering of the head. God has given us the cure and His name is JESUS! God has authorized us to administer the cure by spreading His message, the Gospel.

I suffered from chronic wasting disease until I found the cure and so can you.

Remember, life is one long hiking trip and the trail has bumps and holes called stress, worry and misery. Learn to step around them and use the gear God has given us to hike with joy and peace.

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