Tuesday, March 29, 2016

A Psalm for Brain Fog

I was reading through a favorite Psalm recently that has long been a source of comfort and encouragement in rougher periods of my life.  This time, however, something new caught my attention, and it seemed worth sharing with the rest of the Spoonie community since I know we can always use some more encouragement. :)

I am talking about Psalm 131.  I'll include the text below in the ESV so you can see what I'm talking about.

Psalm 131 (ESV)
O LORD, my heart is not lifted up;
my eyes are not raised too high;
I do not occupy myself with things
too great and too marvelous for me.
But I have calmed and quieted my soul,
like a weaned child with its mother;
like a weaned child is my soul within me.

O Israel, hope in the LORD
from this time forth and forevermore.

So, I realize there's a lot there, and I don't really want to take the time to get into the reference to Israel and whether or not the church is "today's Israel."  I would like to simply focus on the similarities being expressed by David and the struggles the chronically ill community faces.

He begins by being honest about his emotions and where he is at.  He is obviously struggling and discouraged by something.  Whatever his struggle is has overwhelmed him, and he is convinced that it is too much for him to handle.  Sound familiar, spoonies?  He is known as one of the Old Testament figures who danced and sang before the Lord in public, but this is obviously not one of those times.  He is deeply troubled, and even as a king and leader of his people there is nothing he can do to make it go away.  I read those words, and no amount of history can keep me from literally feeling that type of struggle.  David knows pain well, and I am not alone in my struggle.  

Moving forward, he talks about not spending his time trying to figure out things that are just too difficult for him to understand.  While you could take this many ways, in the context of his psalm and for our purposes, I think it's fair to say there is correspondence to brain fog.  He may not have struggled with a chronic disease, but all of us who are can readily relate to feeling that there are things (sometimes everyday details) that are too hard for our brain to process that moment.  It really is ok to just set them aside.  Why?  Because like a nursing child who has been satisfied with his mother's milk, all of our stresses and tensions do not rely on us to come up with a solution for them.  

As believers (especially as the walking wounded of chronic conditions) we can rest heavily on the welcoming arms of Jesus who never gets brain fog, never runs out of energy, and never tells us to just "suck it up" or "walk it off."  We can be confident and at rest within our souls, even when our bodies refuse to be rested.  

O Spoonies, hope in the LORD from this time forth and forevermore.

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