We should not test the Lord, as some of them did-and were killed by snakes.
1 Corinthians 10:9
Even though I struggle with the daily demands of early onset Alzheimer’s disease, I am cautious not to test the Lord because of my disease. I was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in Nov of 2009 which means I’ve been dealing with the demands of Alzheimer’s for over eight years now. Throughout this time, I try to remain filled with thankfulness rather than filled with complaints. Like the Apostle Paul reminded the Corinthians about the Israelites, some of them tested the Lord (or complained) and were killed by snakes. What a terrible way to die!
Since my diagnosis of early-onset Alzheimer’s at the age of 55, I am thankful for many things to include:
- An early diagnosis so I have had time to get all of my affairs in order and determine the things I still want to do in life.
- A good disability retirement plan to help sustain me and my wife.
- An understanding wife and family who have always supported my decisions as I learn more about adjusting to life with this disease.
- A university research center nearby where there is easy access to clinical trials for new treatments for Alzheimer’s disease.
- A team of top-notch medical professionals who care for me.
- Great medications, treatments, and procedures for this disease.
- Promising research that will eventually lead to a cure for this disease.
- An amazingly active Alzheimer’s Association chapter which provides education, support groups, and information for people living with the disease.
- New purpose for my life as I write, speak, and share about living with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease.
- A merciful God who continues to comfort me and bring me peace.
Was I “happy” about receiving a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease? Absolutely not! However, I found much to be thankful for in spite of the diagnosis. For me, maintaining a thankful spirit has made all the difference as I deal with the many changes brought on by Alzheimer’s disease. Besides, death by snakes must truly be a horrible death so being thankful is much better than testing the Lord!
In the Apostle Paul’s letter to the Thessalonians, he wrote, “Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18).” Rather than testing the Lord, Paul always opted to give thanks in spite of the struggles he faced. Perhaps he is the perfect model for thankfulness in the midst of turmoil. Why should I be any different? How about you?