What does the Bible say about TBI?

Introduction:

                Greetings survivors and friends.  I come to you as a 19-year T.B.I. survivor from a motorcycle accident that left me in a coma for four weeks at age 29.  I can say I am a man of greater faith, but appreciative for everything I do independently. During my recovery I had to learn to be patient and wait on the Lord, because He does not work on my time, but on His time!!  I know everything happens according to His will, but the IT professional in me wants to know, understand, and figure things out on my own.  After this experience I can admit two things 1) My curiosity and determination are how I am wired, and 2) My will isn’t His will.

                I’ve never been big on surprises…   When I have questions, you will hear them.  I remember I asked lots of questions in rehab, but since I am no longer a patient, I rely on looking up things from trusted resources I find on the internet.  Most recently, I found the following question on a Biblical website called Got Questions: https://www.gotquestions.org/brain-trauma.html:

Here is the answer to the question above:

“The Bible does not specifically address traumatic brain injury (TBI), and it doesn’t provide any clear examples of someone with brain damage (although Abimelech’s fatal injury in Judges 9:53 must have involved brain trauma). But Scripture does address the issue of suffering.

From our perspective, it seems puzzling that God would allow any bad to happen in the world. Why would God allow someone to suffer a traumatic brain injury? But, looked at from another perspective, it is a bigger wonder that God’s grace and mercy apply to us in any circumstance, given our sinful state as human beings.

Romans 8:28 assures the believer in Christ that God is actively working in all circumstances to bring about an ultimate good. Everything happens for a reason. We usually don’t know the reason that God allows unpleasant things to happen to us, especially something as life-changing as traumatic brain injury. We fall back on faith; we believe that God has a plan for our lives and that His plan is for good and not evil. The brain injury is for a reason. The doctors are there for a reason. The medicine and therapy are for a reason.

We as Christians are faced with illnesses, accidents, and many other difficult situations. In each one, we are presented a tremendous opportunity to learn of God’s grace and strength. Whenever we are weak, that is the time God will show Himself strong on our behalf (2 Corinthians 12:9–10).

God controls both the thermostat and the timer on our trial. God promises that He will never forsake us (Hebrews 13:5) and will never allow us to face more than we are capable of handling in His strength (1 Corinthians 10:13).

Sometimes a traumatic brain injury affects a person’s behavior and causes him or her to say and do things that are out of character. A quiet, unassuming person may, after experiencing a TBI, start using vile language, showing outbursts of anger, and acting in bizarre ways. We do not believe that God holds us responsible for events beyond our control. He does not hold to account those who truly have no control over their thoughts or actions.

Someone with a traumatic brain injury may not be able to understand the gospel. There is no Scripture that explicitly covers God’s dealings with those who are incapable of faith in Christ. The Bible does, however, have much to say about God’s mercy and grace (Romans 5:20).

God recognizes when we should and should not be held accountable for our actions. If a child cannot tell good from evil, for example (Deuteronomy 1:39), then it is reasonable to assert that adults can be in a similar condition at times. Those suffering from a traumatic brain injury can potentially have a limited capacity to distinguish right from wrong.

For those who are dealing with someone exhibiting a drastic change in behavior due to a brain injury, it is important to show him or her the same love, grace, and mercy that God shows us every day of our lives. Providing needed spiritual, emotional, and physical support pleases the Lord. “Let us not become weary in doing good” (Galatians 6:9).”

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (2001): “Every year over 1.5 million Americans sustain a traumatic brain injury.  Among those who survive, 80,000 people per year must learn to cope with lifelong losses of function.”

            I’m curious what are the thoughts of survivors?  I obviously feel as though God had a purpose for me post-injury.  I believed that is why my life was spared, and He also gave me the perseverance to get through months of rehab along with the disappointments we all face from brain injury.  Was it a fun ride?  No!  Would I recommend this experience to anyone looking to grow their faith?  No!  But I believe struggling to do what I am doing in life is a lot better than the alternative (not being here).  So, every morning when I wake up, I thank God because I should not be here considering all that I’ve been through.

            I printed up business cards back in 2004 or 2005 to show others I am a brain injury survivor.  On the back of the I printed the one statistic that puts everything in perspective for me.  According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (2001): “Every year over 1.5 million Americans sustain a traumatic brain injury.  Among those who survive, 80,000 people per year must learn to cope with lifelong losses of function.”  It is 2022 and my injury was in 2003 but, I’m one of the 80,000 that are coping with lifelong loss of function!  That does not mean I am not trying to do more, because I am, but my attempts are more calculated now.  I look before I leap!  I consider the consequences of my actions versus just making decisions on impulse.  I am definitely not the person I was pre-accident, but I do know that I am blessed to be doing a lot better than I was!

Conclusion:

            I encourage all survivors to push for what is most important!  I believe it is important to set goals for yourself and to make your best effort to reach those goals.  I know all goals aren’t attainable, but when we are creative things can be accomplished with the help of assistive devices, a change in mindset, or with the assistance of good rehab staff.  I know all things are possible through Christ and admitting weakness isn’t always a bad thing.  I still aspire to do things I haven’t done in 19 years!  I’ll admit it, I am very faithful!  But I believe God answers prayer according to His will.  I always believed if another brain injured survivor could do something, why can’t I??  I believe we should always test our limits!  You’d be surprised what is possible when you believe in yourself and try!  I remember being unsure of what I kind of job I could perform post-injury.  I felt that as long as there was not anything physically stopping me from performing the job, I could do it!  I am blessed to say that I was able to go back to school online, to get a MBA, and I have been successful returning to my career in IT working remotely.

            As a survivor it is up to us to overcome who ‘they’ think we are, because we are more than our brain injury!  We should have faith to advocate for ourselves and let people know what is important to us.  We should want to tell our stories and change the narrative of our lives!  It is important that I let everyone know that despite my limitations, I am still living life!  I want to share the passage from 2 Corinthians 12:9-10: “But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’  Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.  That is why for Christ’s sake. I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties.  For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

Keep pushing survivors!!

“What Does the Bible Say about Brain Trauma/Damage/Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)? | GotQuestions.Org.” GotQuestions.Org, GotQuestions.org, 29 Feb. 2016, https://www.gotquestions.org/brain-trauma.html.

2 thoughts on “What does the Bible say about TBI?”

  1. Michael Thompson

    Hey Rod,

    Great article and especially looking at things from a Biblical standpoint. I did want to add something just for thought and consideration. In regards to “From our perspective, it seems puzzling that God would allow any bad to happen in the world”

    I find it interesting that sometimes Christians seem to forget or gloss over the affects of Adam & Eve’s decision to eat of the apple. People should maybe refresh themselves with the Fall of Man in Genesis 3.

    I believe that because of that decision death, sin and evil came into the world. Essentially, they handed over the keys of Earth and all their dominion to Satan. Sometimes I think we need to be reminded that we live in a fallen world and that bad / evil things happen. Maybe things aren’t always because of a specific God plan, but HE is always there to help clean up the mess.

    But that’s just one perspective and I’m not trying to start some big debate or argument with anyone. Just some good old fashioned Food for Thought

  2. Thanks for your reply Michael! I understand what you’re saying about us opening up ‘Pandora’s Box’. I personally believe that everything is in order based on His will because He knows our hearts and what we will do. I believe everything happens on purpose and has its season. I also believe God doesn’t give us more than we can handle and we can do all things through Christ. So I believe we’ve been equipped with everything we need to know and fulfill our purpose.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.