All I can do in the face of such a soul wrenching query is to attempt to comfort with the comfort I've received from the same God who allowed my mother (and your mother/ brother/ father/ sister/ husband/ wife/ friend) to be afflicted with this grievous disease.
Here are quotes from my book and accompanying Scripture that might help someone who is trying to find the Lord's presence and purpose in the midst of a struggle with a loved one's dementia:
God is sovereign over life, death, and everything between. There is great peace in accepting this fact. “In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps” (Proverbs 16:9).
Common sense based upon the facts of the expected progression of Alzheimer’s disease will lead to despair. Faith based upon the reality of Jesus Christ offers hope.
The future is in God’s hands, and you can trust Him. No one but the Lord knows the future. Follow Him in your present and leave tomorrow in His hands.
"The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms” (Deuteronomy 33:27a).
Anchor your heart to the Lord. Although everything around you may be in a state of upheaval, God does not change.
God is mighty to act on behalf of those who cry out to Him. I must avail myself of the healing balm of Gilead. Expressing pain and grief won’t kill me—but repressing it just might.
“The LORD is gracious and righteous; our God is full of compassion. The LORD protects the simple-hearted; when I was in great need, He saved me. Be at rest once more, O my soul, for the LORD has been good to you” (Psalm 116:5-7).
God is with you. If you act burdened and communicate your stress to your loved one, you are in sin against the Lord, who has provided for you.
In all of our trials large and small, God is present with us.
“The LORD is close to the brokenhearted, and saves those who are crushed in spirit” (Psalm 34:18).
“The LORD is with me; He is my helper” (Psalm 118:7).
God is the Provider for your loved one, and He will provide for you too.
“The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge”
(2 Samuel 22:2,3).
I was comforted to be reminded that the Lord is in control even of events that are devastating to us. Because I knew Him to be a loving God, there was great peace in this reminder that He was in control. We cannot comprehend the why of distressing events, but we may always find solace when we come to the Lord. It is a difficult truth that our only hope of deliverance from the pain of grief lies in the arms of Him who allowed us that grief.I will close this post with a quote from my mother's journal, dated July, 1962. I pray that each person who reads these words finds the strength and comfort they need to move forward through their own Alzheimer's journey:
Continually look for things that remind us that God is in all things we see or experience. Don’t hold back from life in fear of being hurt—or of seeing or feeling things that are devastating to us. Sometimes these are the things [in which] we may find some of God’s work for us.Where is God in Alzheimer's? Right where He has always been, sovereign over every circumstance of our lives, and present with power, provision, and comfort for His own.
If you feel your relationship with the Lord isn't one that will afford you the peace promised in the Scripture and quotes above, check out this link.
My mother is still living, still has Alzheimer's, and is becoming more withdrawn and uncommunicative by the day. Here are added understandings that may be of help at this point:
The Lord does not cause the events that devastate our lives and our hearts. He is not the author of evil, and, in my comprehension, Alzheimer's disease is a great evil. But I know without a doubt that in every challenge we face, even during the most difficult time, God has made a path through it, and He is with us in it. With my limited and flawed understanding, I think that when God created the music of time and creation, He knew the melody must be allowed to play during this short segment during which human beings are allowed the choice of whether to come to Him as His children--or not. We are not automatons and Satan exists, and so for this age, evil is present. But God makes us a way through; He always makes us a way through, and from our Lord’s perspective, these present sorrows represent a very temporary situation. He truly will bring everything together under the banner of His love; the process is underway now as all things are being drawn into His perfect will. Meantime, we are alright because we have confidence that someday He will make things all right, and He strengthens and sustains us in our here and now. The Bible is full of promises that every tear will be wiped away and all things will, at the end of this age, come under the dominion of our God.
I don’t think that Alzheimer's (or any other horrible thing) is caused exclusively by human free will and sin. Evil is the culprit, evil is in the world, and, as Scripture says, God is allowing the wheat and the weeds to grow up together during this season. Evil is a fact for now (and Alzheimer's is, in my book, a great evil) but at the end of all things God's plan will be done on earth as Heaven, and all things will be brought together under one head; Christ (Ephesians 1:10). And while we wait for that blessed day, we have the promise of His presence and provision in our here and now. He will always make a way.