Psalm 13:1-6 ESV - 1 How long, O LORD? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? 2 How long must I take counsel in my soul and have sorrow in my heart all the day? How long shall my enemy be exalted over me? 3 Consider and answer me, O LORD my God; light up my eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death, 4 lest my enemy say, "I have prevailed over him," lest my foes rejoice because I am shaken. 5 But I have trusted in your steadfast love; my heart shall rejoice in your salvation. 6 I will sing to the LORD, because he has dealt bountifully with me.
One thing I can count on with a rare and progressive disease, is that the “goal posts” seem to keep moving. By the time I adjust to a new schedule or find a way of (once again) easing symptoms — it’s time to adjust again.
Usually I can just be flexible and adjust. It’s a lesson that is learned over time (and through much being humbled) but must confess that this week has been “one of those days” . . . .
I burned several fingers on my hand last week (not the tips but around the knuckles) and they are slow in healing. It is still painful to hold a crochet hook so I have some projects delayed in finishing until my hand heals (and now I find it could be a couple more weeks);
Retinal spasms have been more frequent (that goal post thing) so reading and computer time is minimal. Delayed projects there as well;
I read Psalm 13 yesterday. Yes, I know that God has not forgotten me; I know that I am not left to my own wisdom and left to stay in my own grief. Yes, I even know that this progressive disease has an end point. Guess what — David knew it, too . . .
In exhaustion, in disappointment and frustration, “feelings over facts” seek to rule the day. Any one of these delays and distractions are annoying; but they pile up . . . and so, I follow the psalmist’s example (which is inspired by the Holy Spirit so it is actually the example God gives for what to do in this situation)
Own the feelings. Yes, I’m frustrated. Yes, I’m more lonely when I have nothing to do and talking is exertion so phone calls and visits are contraindicated. No, I don’t see much purpose right now; my mind is going full steam but my body is at dead stop.
Cry out to God, my Sovereign Lord. Ask Him to renew my hope. Ask Him to Psalm 119:29 ESV – 29 Put false ways far from me and graciously teach me your law!
Trust in the Lord. Trust in His faithfulness. Trust in His Word. If I can’t read, I listen. If my brain doesn’t absorb easily, I listen again. I ask the Holy Spirit to glue His Word to my brain so I can remember what I need to resist temptation and remain steadfast under trial (see James 1; 1 Corinthians 10)
I listen to classic hymns and sing along in my head. An advantage of being a music minor in a small Christian Bible school and singing in touring groups — I know quite a few hymns by heart (even verses 2 and 3, not just first and last). I listen to these hymns, am reminded of the lyrics, and rejoice in God’s steadfast love and bountiful care. He truly has been good to me, far more than I deserve, and he is good now and will be forevermore.
Now that I have “calmed and quieted my soul like a weaned child” (Psalm 131), I can think of what I still can do rather than only concentrate on what I cannot do. Many things must be done differently now, but they can still be done. I can still do laundry, still make supper, still pay bills, still enjoy my grandchildren, still pray, still be an encouragement to others.
Even if my singing is only in my head, I can still sing to the Lord, because He has dealt bountifully with me!