Some days I wish I could push rewind and go back to my old life. My life when I was perfectly healthy. When I performed surgery with my hands and pedaled a bicycle with my legs. My life when I could open the mail or eat popcorn without resting; my life before chronic illness with myasthenia gravis.
Psalm 73:26, “My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” NIV
Can we take a direct flight back to reality, or do we have to change planes in Denver?
Tim Allen in “The Santa Clause”
It is impossible for others to understand hidden or invisible illnesses like multiple sclerosis, lupus or in my case myasthenia gravis (MG). I spell it and explain it, but unless you live with it everyday, it is hard to understand. But honestly, I don’t mind explaining my illness, I am really glad you care.
Psalm 71:9, “Do not forsake me when my strength is gone.” NIV
In the movie “The Santa Clause 2” Scott Calvin begins the de-santafication process until he finds a wife. He departs from the North Pole with a limited amount of magic, but he must save enough to return home. Bernard, his chief elf, gives him a meter he wears as a wristwatch to indicate how much magic remains so he does not get stranded.
2 Samuel 22:33, “God is my strength and power, and He makes my way perfect.” NKJV
WHERE CAN I GET ONE OF THOSE?
My magic is limited too, so is my strength. I do not get tired, though many with autoimmune diseases do. Instead, MG causes weakness. Simple tasks are a struggle you cannot see; weakness is invisible. But, I know if I fail to conserve enough strength, I won’t be able to get home. It’s hard to choose where to spend it. Someone should invent one of those meters for me so I know how much strength I have left!
Isaiah 40:31, “But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk and not faint.” KJV
Every choice I make affects my strength reserve. Some days I may walk across the parking lot just fine, then not make it through the store. I slice a tomato then not be able to stir. I can shake your hand or open the door, but it will cost me strength and mine is limited.
Psalm 37:39, “But the salvation of the righteous is from the Lord; He is their strength in the time of trouble.” NKJV
YOU ARE LIMITED TOO
In reality, everyone harbors hidden struggles, whether physical, emotional or spiritual. We are all limited, only able to do so much and give so much. It is impossible to be everything to everyone and trying causes misery. Maybe your strength or energy reserves are deep, but your time is finite , so is your attention. Choose wisely how you spend it.
Proverbs 16:9, “A man’s heart plans his way, but the Lord determines his steps.” HCSB
I neglected rest. My old life was perpetual motion. I was never still then and I have yet to decide how much I miss it. Frequent rest is no longer optional, it is necessary for me to regain my strength.
The magic runs out. Though rest goes against my nature, I try not to fight it. God commands rest for everyone. He actually uses it to bless and He knows precisely what we need. The Lord even set the example by resting Himself. He commands us to “be still.” Now I am still, I only wish it weren’t chronic stillness.
Psalm 46:10, “Be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted in the earth.” ASV
June is myasthenia gravis awareness month. Ironically I was diagnosed in June 2014. If you know anyone with myasthenia gravis, please encourage them to register with MGFA.
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