Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Alzheimer's is Bad, but God is Good

Years ago I saw a TV show that contained a scene I've not forgotten, although I have no idea now of the plot surrounding the imagery that's stuck with me over time.  An infant was lying inside a special containment area because the child had to be protected from environmental dangers.  When medical personnel needed to minister to the child, they placed their hands into long gloves through specially designed portals in the clear box that held the sleeping infant.  The baby was completely shielded from bacteria and allergens that might be in the room.  Oxygen and food were somehow given through sterile and sealed portals such as the ones that held the gloves. 

That scene has been in my mind today as I think about the saying, "Everything comes to us by God's hand."

Sometimes, people who have been terribly hurt by life events take exception to this and similar statements.  I don't blame them.  If I believed that God had afflicted my mom with Alzheimer's as a sort of blessing in disguise, I would certainly object to the idea that life events that cost us terrible sorrow are actually good in some cosmic way we can't yet see.

In my early days as a caregiver, I struggled with the facts of my mother's suffering and the burdens I carry because of her Alzheimer's disease. I cried out in prayer and sought help through Scripture, aware of the Holy Spirit's comfort and help.  In chapter ten of my book,  My Mom Has Alzheimer's: Inspiration and Help for Caregivers, I recorded the guidance God graciously provided in response to those prayers:  
God does not willingly bring grief or suffering (See Lamentations 3:33;) His will flows over all that is grievous and changes darkness to light (See Psalm 18:28;) all things are incorporated into and transformed by His perfect will (See Romans 8:28;) where time and eternity touch, His will is done on earth as in Heaven (See Matthew 6:10;) we can’t yet perceive what we will one day see clearly because we walk by faith and not by sight. (See 1 Corinthians 13:12.)
 We are like that infant in the scene I described at the beginning of this post.  No outside influence touches us that is not covered by the protection of God's Hand.

Alzheimer's is not in any way a good thing, but the Lord has blessed us through it.  The blessings have come by the Lord's protective power and not from the disease itself.

1 comment:

  1. I carry around an ornament in my pocket that is in the shape of a key and has the word strenth written on it. I am reminded every day that God is my srength through this mission, and that he is with me every step of the way. Your words fill me with hope and I am reminded that none of us are alone. God bless and thank you again. ---Jill