Although she lives in a safe country, my mother
has been taken captive by hostile forces. No one expected this invasion and
police forces have been unable to free the hostages. Despite heavy negotiations
that are under way, I know in my heart that my mom will never be released from
her prison, for she is under the power of a merciless and cruel dictator, one
that believes in the total demise of his prisoners.
Slowly and methodically this dictator is destroying her brain cells, and with the loss of each cell, the casualties are heavy. Initially it will be loss of short-term memory, but eventually she will even lose memory of her loved ones.
As if being held hostage by such an evil dictator weren't enough, in my mom's case Alzheimer's has combined forces with another cruel master: Lewy Body. The expertise of this second tyrant is to create Parkinson-like symptoms, such as tremors, stiffness and slowness of movement. He has also affected her ability to carry out simple, familiar tasks such as how to answer a phone, how to button a shirt, even how to cut the food on her plate.
Hostages of these two dictators will experience that the severity of their state varies from hour to hour, week to week, month to month. As a result, some think that these hostages are simply putting on a show. In reality, however, they are living a horrid nightmare, filled with anxiety and confusion.
What makes my mother's hostage state perhaps the hardest for me, is that she lives in another county, on another continent, and staunch immigration laws prevent me from bringing her to live with me. The best I can do is to call her every day. I tell her I love her and to hang onto Jesus, and some days we are blessed with a nice chat. Most often, however, our conversations are short and to the point, because even the basic phone functions confuse her. But I persist, for I know that better days are upcoming; days when all captives will be freed, days when disease will become non-existent.
But those days aren't yet here, and in the meantime we all have to face the cruel reality of aging. But shouldn't we be even more concerned about the health of our souls? The cruel dictator called the devil will try to put our hearts in a state of "Alzheimer's", one where our faith towards God is systematically eaten away. He is sneaky, and he will carry out his cruel intents without you even being aware it is happening. Don't believe it? Look at all these believers who have slumbered in their faith and live as if there is no tomorrow!
It is time for us to follow the advice of the Apostle Paul and wake up: "Wake up from your sleep, Climb out of your coffins; Christ will show you the light! So watch your step. Use your head. Make the most of every chance you get. These are desperate times! Don't live carelessly, unthinkingly. Make sure you understand what the Master wants." (Eph 5:14-17 The Message)
Will you let this tyrant gradually and mercilessly take over your very soul? Isn't it time you stop leaning on your own understanding and start to trust the Lord, the only One who can make our paths straight?
"Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight." (Prov 3:5-6 NIV)
"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." (Matt 11:28 NIV)
Do you need to continue being anxious about things? No! Jesus is the One who gives you inner peace and helps you "guard" your "hearts and minds in Christ Jesus" from the deceiver!
"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." (Phil 4:6-7 NIV)
Don't let the tyrant fool you with his lies. Nothing can stop God from loving you! He desperately wants to free you from any bondage that keeps you from enjoying real living!
"For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Rom 8:38-39 NIV)
When Jesus was tempted by the devil he stood firm on God's Word and told the tempter: "Beat it, Satan!" (Matt 4:10 The Message)
If you don't want to be afflicted with this "Alzheimer's of the soul", then you will need to do the same thing! The good news is this:
"But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." (1 Cor 15:57 NIV)
No matter what, we know that better days are ahead. Let's look forward to these days! "Come Jesus!"
The Illustrator: This daily newsletter is dedicated to encouraging everyone to look towards Jesus as the source of all the solutions to our problems. It contains a daily inspirational story, a Bible verse and encouraging messages. HTML and plain text versions available.
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