Do not hand over the life of your dove to wild beasts; do not forget the lives of your afflicted people forever. Psalm 74:19
When Alzheimer’s disease strikes, we are often forced to make some difficult decisions as our lives begin to change because of the disease. It doesn’t mean we completely surrender but often times we must seek early retirement, significantly reduce the number of hours worked each week, or even give up control of profitable business ventures which provided support for a lifetime. I personally had to take early retirement even though I was at the height of my career as an analyst and engineer for the Department of the Army when Early-onset Alzheimer’s disease struck.
When this happens, we wonder how we will make it. Financial concerns weigh heavily on our minds, our personal identities are affected as we step down from lifelong careers, and our emotional health may be impacted as well. It is entirely possible that we feel like the psalmist felt in today’s passage as we cry out to God not to hand over our lives to the wild beast of dementia! But God often works in very mysterious ways behind the scenes of our lives.
Although the decisions were difficult, taking early retirement significantly reduced my stress and giving up my business ventures eased my financial worries. These two things improved my emotional health making living with Early-onset Alzheimer’s disease much more manageable. Somehow, God made all this possible in the midst of the chaos that was rocking my world. He was gracious enough to keep me from being devoured by my pride and I was wise enough to listen to His instructions. He will do the same for you because He does not forget the lives of His afflicted people!