My soul faints with longing for your salvation, but I have put my hope in your word. Psalm 119:81
Before my diagnosis of Early-onset Alzheimer’s disease, I loved to read all kinds of material. Fiction, non-fiction, books on the Bible, books by Christian authors, magazine articles, work related material, gardening books, and, of course, the Bible. Before the disease, it was easy to read, follow the plot or theme, and remember much of the material I had read. I would often read while doing something else (watching TV, listening to the radio, or fixing a meal). Unfortunately, that is no longer the case. Reading anything requires intense concentration and there can be no distractions while I am reading. On the very best of days, I remember very little of what I have read.
I still read but now I read for different reasons. I read to exercise my brain in the hopes of developing new neural pathways, to maintain a useable vocabulary, and to help in the writing of my daily devotions. The joy of reading for fun has past, with one exception, I still enjoy reading the Bible. It is the one book that is very familiar, easy to read, and for some reason, easy to understand. I brings me comfort, peace, joy, courage, and hope. Like today’s passage from the Psalms so appropriately puts it, “I have put my hope in your word.”
Since my diagnosis, I have participated in two 18 month clinical trials for Alzheimer’s disease, enrolled in a lifelong Alzheimer’s study, donated my brain to the University of Kentucky for Alzheimer’s research, participated in numerous Walks to End Alzheimer’s, spoken to a wide variety of audiences about Alzheimer’s, and written books, devotions, and blogs to encourage others with the disease. I do all of this to help future generations but these particular activities hold little hope for me personally. My only hope comes from the Lord through His Word. It is my lifesaver!
If you are struggling today with one of the many forms of dementia, spend some time in God’s Word and find hope for your struggles. As you read His Word or have it read to you, it is my prayer that the God of hope will fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Like the psalmist implied in today’s passage, it can only happen when you decide to put your hope in His Word.