Oh give thanks to the LORD; call upon his name; make known his deeds among the peoples! Sing to him, sing praises to him; tell of all his wondrous works! Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the LORD rejoice! Seek the LORD and his strength; seek his presence continually! Remember the wondrous works that he has done, his miracles, and the judgments he uttered, O offspring of Abraham, his servant, children of Jacob, his chosen ones! (Ps. 105:1-6 ESV)
Recently, we’ve been experiencing something of a mini-crisis in our home. My 85 year old mother-in-law, is suffering from dementia. Although she’s been with us for over 7 years now, she has completely forgotten that she’s ever lived with us. As her mental state has slowly declined, my wife, Julie, has begun cooking all her meals, shopping for her, and consistently caring for her needs. In addition, I’ve been overseeing her finances and making sure her affairs are in order. Why do I mention this? She doesn’t remember any of it. She sits for much of the day, confused, depressed, and at times, angry. “Where are all my things? Why can’t I leave here? Why are you treating me so badly? Who are you?” Julie and I, along with our kids, are trusting that God is going to use this time both to make us more like His Son and to bring my mother-in-law to a saving knowledge of the Savior.
In reflecting on our situation, I realized how often we relate to God as though we had spiritual dementia. We wake up in the morning weighed down by responsibilities and forget how He cared for us yesterday. We remember the bills that are due but forget the countless ways He’s provided for us in the past. Guilt, condemnation, and anxiety are crystal clear, but the forgiveness our Savior purchased at Calvary is a murky memory. So we complain. We fight depression. We get confused. We lash out in anger. “Why can’t You change my life? Why are You treating me so badly? Who are You?”
How wisely the Psalmist exhorts us, “Make known his deeds…tell of all his wondrous works…,remember the wondrous works that he has done, his miracles, and the judgments he uttered.” One of the primary problems the Israelites faced was simply forgetting who God was and what He had done. In the wilderness, Israel “soon forgot his works,” and “forgot God their Savior, who had done great things in Egypt.” (Ps. 106:13, 21) How much like us!
That’s one of the reasons we repeatedly read God’s Word, pray, sing, and gather with God’s people. It’s why meeting with God in the morning and filling our minds with His Word is so important. Like my mother-in-law, we struggle daily with the tendency to forget everything we know about God, and conclude that everything ultimately depends on us.
Remember the wondrous works of the Lord today. Remind others.
And never forget that our God and Savior is much better than we’ll ever remember or can ever imagine. His greatness truly is unsearchable. (Ps. 145:3)
Bob — Excellent and insightful post…
I will be praying for your situation as well, I know that dementia can be emotionally painful (been there)…
BTW, I just read C.J.’s book, “The Cross-Centered Life” — goes along with your post very well…
I don’t know you. You don’t know me.
I DO know that this was written for me today. I can’t even tell you how encouraged I was to read these words. I’m thankful for the divine “coincidence” that led me to this post.
Thanks so much for this blog. I’ve been reading from the start and your words have ministered to me and challenged me many times already.
Thanks for lifting our eyes to God and away from our circumstances yet again.
Good to remember that the greatest “deed of the Lord” we can recount is the death of Jesus to pay for our sins. What a faith-filling truth to battle spiritual dementia!
wonderfully convicting. That was a great way to open our ears to the truth of our hearts.