Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Sleepless in Pain

Sleeplessness and chronic pain go hand-in-hand in a vicious sort of cycle. Three hours of fitful sleep in a row is often considered a good night for me, and so I'm well versed in the 2am infomercial scene. Nothing is quite so lonely and empty as the middle of the night, when all you can think about is how you can't even catch a few moment's peace while the rest of the world is blissfully oblivious to your torment.

Distractions... I don't just while away my sleepless hours watching romantic comedies from the early 90s (for those of you who got the title reference). It's also a good time for Bible surfing. I stumbled onto the following Psalm a while ago during a particularly sad and lonely night in the hospital, thank God, and although it didn't bring me sleep, it did bring me peace.

Here's Psalm 40 in part. It's a long one. David, the author of over 70 of the 150 Psalms in the Old Testament, evidently had his share of sleepless nights, too.

I waited patiently for the LORD;
He inclined to me and heard my cry.
He drew my up from the pit of destruction,
our of the miry bog,
and set my feet upon a rock,
making my steps secure.
He put a new song in my mouth,
a song of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear,
and put their trust in the LORD.
As for You, O LORD, You will not restrain
Your mercy from me;
Your steadfast love and Your faithfulness will
ever preserve me!
For evils have encompassed me
beyond number;
my iniquities have overtaken me,
and I cannot see;
they are more than the hairs of my head;
my heart fails me.
Be pleased, O LORD, to deliver me!
O LORD, make haste to help me!
Let those be put to shame and disappointed altogether
who seek to snatch away my life;
let those be turned back and brought to dishonor
who delight in my hurt!
As for me, I am poor and needy,
but the LORD takes thought for me.
You are my help and my deliverer;
Do not delay, O my God!

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