reflections on a psalm, and my seizures

It’s been a real while since I’ve gotten back into my usual patterns and cycles, one of which being prayer and reading the Bible in the morning. So, if you follow this blog at all, you’d know I’m linearly reading the Bible and am still in Psalms. Just read through several but Psalm 141 really resonated with me:

O Lord, I am calling to you. Please hurry! Listen when I cry to you for help! Accept my prayer as incense offered to you, and my upraised hands as an evening offering.

Take control of what I say, O Lord, and guard my lips. Don’t let me drift toward evil or take part in acts of wickedness. Don’t let me share in the delicacies of those who do wrong.

Let the godly strike me! It will be a kindness! If they correct me, it is soothing medicine. Don’t let me refuse it.

But I pray constantly against the wicked and their deeds. When their leaders are thrown down from a cliff, the wicked will listen to my words and find them true. Like rocks brought up by a plow, the bones of the wicked will lie scattered without burial.

I look to you for help, O Sovereign Lord. You are my refuge; don’t them kill me. Keep me from the traps they have set for me, from the snares of those who do wrong. Let the wicked fall into their own nets, but let me escape.

How many times have I felt like screaming (and have screamed out!) to God to please help me? not later but now! To accept my prayer and my arms as an offering… even though I sometimes question have I even really meant it? I might tell God to take control of what I say, but do I truly want that? I certainly don’t always act like I want my lips sealed… Many times I struggle with many things one of which is my anger. Ah how many seem to not understand that this is my struggle, but we all have ours. Words I speak to my children I participate in far too often – and far too quickly. Patience and calmness…. yes words I only frequently remember how they work… I recall Proverbs 13:3 years ago:

He who guards his mouth preserves his life, but he who opens wide his lips shall have destruction.

God’s time though isn’t always my time. I can recall back on several prayers for months on end (and some longer than that), that have been answered… some of which quite recently (and pleasantly I might add!).

But then I go and have found out that I now have seizures (some may call it epilepsy). Yeah certainly not my choice of timing… I haven’t been the most comprehensive in researching this so far, but my wife found this article that seemed to the most helpful information for myself.

The usual culprits to raise likelihood of having another seizure are sleep deprivation, increased alcohol consumption and menstrual changes. My neurologist also mentioned drug use, but we can scratch that off the list like increased alcohol consumption (unless you consider drinking a single beer once in a few months “increased”). Sleep deprivation isn’t likely either, although I could use a consistency… what the article also talks about is emotional stress:

Emotional is usually related to a situation or event that has personal meaning to you. Often you will feel a loss of control. In particular, the kind of emotional stress that leads to most seizures is worry or fear. One study found that in some patients, anxiety—another term for worry and fear—led to hyperventilation (overbreathing) and an increase in abnormal brain activity and seizures. Other emotions that have been linked with stress and seizures are frustration and anger.

In addition, the article mentions a few recommended things to decrease your chance of seizures:

  • Start (and continue) a regular sleep pattern. Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day.
  • Limit your alcohol consumption to a few (or no) drinks, and don’t drink too often.
  • Find an outlet to help you deal with anger, frustration, and worries in your life. Exercise, music, or conversation works for many people.

3 responses to “reflections on a psalm, and my seizures

  1. So, does that mean you’re gonna keep drinking? :o)

  2. I can sympathize with some of your struggles Chris, especially when it comes to patience. I get frustrated that I don’t see as much growth in that area as I would like (and I’m sure others around me would agree :))

    One verse that’s helped me in that area is 2 Peter 3:8 – “But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.” It’s a reminder that God’s timing doesn’t always match with ours.

  3. Jim – if you consider almost drinking a single can of beer once every few months… then yes 🙂

    Joe – thanks especially for that verse. I find it ‘funny’ in some ways the verse that comes after that one: “He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance”; funny in that God is being patient with us… giving us sufficient time for us to get to that place…

    Received this from a good friend via email that felt it related well to this:

    Divine Expulsion

    Thou shalt drive out the Canaanites, though they have iron chariots, and though they be strong. (Joshua 17:18)

    It is a great encouragement to valor to be assured of victory, for then a man goes forth to war in confidence and ventures where else he had been afraid to go. Our warfare is with evil within us and around us, and we ought to be persuaded that we are able to get the victory and that we shall do so in the name of the Lord Jesus. We are not riding for a fall, but to win; and win we shall. The grace of God in its omnipotence is put forth for the overflow of evil in every form: hence the certainty of triumph.

    Certain of our sins find chariots of iron in our constitution, our former habits, our associations, and our occupations. Nevertheless we must overcome them. They are very strong, and in reference to them we are very weak; yet in the name of God we must master them, and we will. If one sin has dominion of us we are not the Lord’s free men. A man who is held by only one chain is still a captive. There is no going to heaven with one sin ruling within us, for of the saints it is said, “Sin shall not have dominion over you.” Up, then, and slay every Canaanite, and break to shivers every chariot of iron! The Lord of hosts is with us, and who shall resist His sin-destroying power?

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