January 29, 2019
No one wants Alzheimer’s disease.
But who notices when spiritual Alzheimer’s is developing in them?
In the years I was a full-time caretaker for my father-in-law with Alzheimer’s and dementia, God showed me some shocking similarities between those who have physical dementia, and those developing spiritual dementia.
Do these memory-deterioration “symptoms” apply to what’s going on in your mind and spirit?
- Anxiety or worry dominating your days or nights
- Struggling with self-care
- Lack of discernment
- Loss of purpose, drifting through your days
- Not remembering what was given to you to satisfy your needs
- Not recognizing when you are full, mindless consuming
- Struggling to rest, restlessness
- Not sure of the time or season you are in
- Unsure or uneasy about how to relate to those around you
- Resisting or rejecting loving care from others
- Unable to invest in the younger generations
- Struggling to remember who you are, your true identity, in Christ
Someone who is developing or suffering from spiritual dementia is:
- A believer whose memory of who God is, and what God has done for them, is deteriorating.
- A believer who at one time knew something to be true of God, but now you are doubting.
- A believer who wrestles with God through the same issue(s) over and over. God gave you peace and perspective… but then you forget what He revealed to you or directed you to do and the struggle begins again.
It doesn’t have to be this way.
We are transformed by the active, intentional renewing of our minds. (Romans 12:2)
We know the One and Only who can heal all our diseases - including spiritual Alzheimer’s and dementia. (Psalm 103:3)
No matter how weak your memory is, if you dedicate the time - God Himself will do the reminding.
“The Holy Spirit... will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you." - John 14:26
If you’ve cared for someone with dementia then you know - it impacts an entire community of people. Dementia impacts multiple generations.
But God showed me this, too: in an even more powerful way - a strong memory of Jesus, and what He has done for you - impacts an entire community of people. It impacts the faith of multiple generations.
When you remember how Jesus set you free and brought you out into a spacious place, when you remember His kindness that drew you into His arms...
When you remember how:
- He healed you
- He made you new
- Gave you a sound mind and a living hope
- How He pursues you, counsels you, and sings delight over you
- When you remember God: your hope in Him becomes unshakable.
1 Peter 3:15 says “always be prepared to give the reason for the hope you have”.
You have reasons you hope in Jesus.
Your stories carry hope because they carry Jesus.
We live in a culture full of stories.
And I wonder… what stories will our kids grow up being surrounded by?
I want to know my parents' stories of Jesus.
And I want my kids to know mine.
You have experiences of Jesus that no one can share but you.
God is calling His people to remember Him, and to be a prepared witness for Him to the next generation.
“You are my witnesses” declares the Lord “That I am God.” - Isaiah 43:12
You can get started right here, right now.