Psalm 139:23-24 ~~~ “Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!”
2 Corinthians 10:4-5 ~~~ “For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God and take every thought captive to obey Christ.”
Philippians 4:8 ~~~ “Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think on these things.”
A close family relative is suffering with early to mid-stage dementia. She still knows us, but does not remember the things we’ve told her we’ve been doing….even twenty minutes before. She will often ask the same questions over and over, which can try the patience. An exasperated, ill-thought-out retort will sometimes bring on tears, though we are instantly sorry. The tears will occasionally turn into a day long funk.
A brief visit will reveal her loss of short term memory quite soon, but her long term memory is still pretty good, remembering people and events from long ago. She is quite able to get around for herself without mechanical help though she is in her 90’s. Not bad, we think, until we stay longer, or hear from her caregiver.
Why is it we are never freed from our old sin nature while we live on this earth? Why do lapses return when we are most vulnerable? When I am over-tired or stressed or have a headache, I will often retort sharply or react with anger to people or situations that bother me. I get irritated and annoyed and frustrated. Often I say things I regret. Sometimes a bit of profanity escapes. I simmer and fume, or feel sorry for myself and mope.
But…. in a little while when I finally recognize what I’m doing, I am sorrowful and go to God to confess and to receive His forgiveness. All is well; peace returns.
But with short term memory loss, the words are spoken, the deeds are done, (sometimes quite shocking) and there is no memory of it later to bring conviction and repentance. So the person is at the mercy of their sinful nature raising its ugly head, even though they have given their heart to God and trust in Christ’s atoning death for their salvation.
What a cruel attribute of an aging/ailing believer’s mind!
I don’t know if it is possible to pray (to confess) for another whose mind is lost, but I do! I ask God to forgive her for these weaknesses. I plead for Him to be gracious and merciful, and forgive, and to bring her peace.
O Sovereign God, You can do anything. Redeem the years “the locusts have eaten!” Let your light shine within her mind and redeem and restore.
Today, merciful God, let her begin to THINK on things that are TRUE, such as, Jesus is her Savior, and she is Your child. Let her begin to make her way back to You in the corridors of her mind, through Jesus, The Way, The Truth and The Life. Today, let her think on (dwell on) whatever is true. Let no falsehood of thought or emotion intrude!
And Your Word is true. Bring your Word, the Bible, to her notice today. May she pick it up, open it and read TRUTH. May this powerful “Sword of the Spirit” defend her mind against the rising of her old natural tendencies!
“Is My hand shortened, that it cannot redeem? Or have I no power to deliver?” ~~~ Isaiah 50:2b
Yes, Lord, You can!
I have continued daily to pray the things we are to “think on” from Philippians 4 – one each day – for this person, and am trusting God to honor His word and give her the peace that passes all understanding to guard her heart and mind.
Also…. I have purposed in my heart to read and commit more and more of God’s Word to memory, that – as He promised – it might “keep me from sinning” in my own old age. Psalm 119:11.