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Our Dementia

Posted by Colby Kinser on

Many of us are, or have in our lifetimes, been dealing with loved ones who suffer from dementia. Because our present bodies are doomed to lose their capacity to renew themselves, the brain loses its capacity to convey internal messages as effectively as it once did, and for many this decay is pronounced and debilitating.

In these cases, the loved one can forget the name or even the face of someone they have known and loved for decades. And when it's your name or face that's forgotten, it can hurt - not only because we like to think we're unforgettable, but also because we hate to see our loved ones incapable of such a simple, automatic mental process.

Being forgotten doesn't change who you are. You're the same person whether someone remembers you or not. The sad thing is that they struggle to enjoy you for who you are.

We all suffer from some level of forgetfulness of God. He is the One who loves us the most, and many of us would claim that we love Him deeply, and aspire to love Him with all of our hearts, souls, minds, and strength. But we don't think of Him every day, necessarily. We don't remember Him when when need His wisdom. We don't remember Him when we're accepting accolades for a job well done. We don't remember Him when we wallow in self-pity.

We have a kind of dementia, and until we receive our new, glorified bodies and are made like Jesus completely (1 John 3:1-2), we will suffer from this dementia to various levels at various times.

But our dementia doesn't change who God is. If we forget that He's all-powerful, He has no less power. If we forget that He is merciful and forgiving, He's no less capable of mercy and forgiveness. If we forget that He's the judge of the entire human race, He's not going to hang up the gavel and stop defining what is right and wrong. It's just that we struggle to enjoy Him for who He is.

Some of our forgetfulness is not our fault. We're fallen and we'll never think of God at all times. Some of our forgetfulness, however, is our fault. We can fail to keep ingesting His Word. We can neglect staying connected with Him in prayer. We can fail to just stop, breathe, pray, and wait. We can even realize we're not going to like what He has to say, so we intentionally listen to other advice. We have involuntary and voluntary dementia.

We can't imagine our loved ones choosing dementia. God laments in Scripture when we choose dementia toward Him. And yet, He remains the same perfect God, longsuffering us to remember.

2 Tim. 2:8–13 (TRB):

Remember Christ Jesus,
risen from the dead,
descended from David,
according to my gospel,
for which I am suffering—even chained like a criminal.
But God’s word is not chained.
Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect,
that they too may obtain
the salvation that is in Christ Jesus and
eternal glory with it.

(image: By Rickyukon - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=89217238)

Tags: remember