The experience is scary, but thankfully short-lived, lasting less than thirty minutes. The ordeal for me generally begins with a sensation of bright light, the initial step that starts the progression into an ocular migraine, sometimes referred to as a silent migraine. Although not accompanied by the life-altering pain typical of a migraine, this event causes visual symptoms, an aura, temporary flashes of light in one eye. Most often this affects my left eye, as that initial bright light forms zig zag lines in the shape of an arc, flashing like a strobe light in my eye. Even though this isn’t painful, I must immediately cease what I am doing, lie down, close my eyes, and wait for the episode to pass. I cannot perform household tasks, walk around, read, or drive a car until the episode ceases. With the focus of that eye so drastically hindered, even the simplest tasks must remain undone.
When we embark on each new day, we have no idea what events are in store for us in the course of that day, what distractions are going to attempt to steal our focus and our attention, what life-altering event may occur. In Psalm 46, the descendants of Korah present the possibilities of the worst calamities that are imaginable on the earth: “Though the earth be removed,” earthquakes; “though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea,” landslides; “Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled,” turbulent seas;” “though the mountains shake…the heathen” rage in opposition against us. When everything seems to be breaking loose, when your world is turned upside down, when the unimaginable has happened and your life is shaken, how do you keep your focus?
When I am suffering through an ocular migraine, I have one recourse, to lie down and wait it out. When my life falls apart, I have one solution, to “Be still,” to quiet myself and focus on the fact that He is “my refuge and my strength.” God gave me this precious chapter one lonely evening decades ago, as I sat helpless outside a children’s hospital intensive care unit. My earth was removed, my waters were raging, my mountains were shaking, my daughter was dying, and I was devastated. My focus was everywhere…distracted, panicked…until God, in His gentleness and through His Word, spoke: Daughter, “Be still, and know that I am God,” I am your refuge, I will be your strength, I will carry you.
Are you there today, distracted by your heavy trial, lost in your pain, eyes out of focus? Take a moment, read through Psalm 46, be reminded that “The LORD of hosts is with us,” and “Be still.”
Psalm 46:1 God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
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