And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28
Today’s passage is one of my favorites from the Apostle Paul’s letter to the Roman church. It is a passage I put to memory many, many years ago and I have used it countless times in prayer, teaching, devotions, and meditation. It reminds me how much God loves me. So much so that He can take the worst situation and work it to the good for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.
I suppose you could say that a diagnosis of early-onset Alzheimer’s disease could be considered a “worst situation.” However, God has somehow worked this situation for good for me. How did He do this? By giving me a new heart and the Holy Spirit. To explain I once again turn to Brian Chapell’s book, The Promises of Grace. In it he claims the following:
In contrast to a life with a defective heart, a life with the new heart supplied by the Spirit has these vital signs: new desires, new abilities, new sense of obligation, and new deeds.
Since my diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease, God has indeed given me new desires, new abilities, new sense of obligation, and new deeds. My desire is to bring an end to Alzheimer’s disease. Therefore, I do all in my power to raise money, raise awareness, and raise support in an effort to help those with the disease. My new sense of obligation is to help find a cure or new treatment for the disease. Therefore, I have participated in two 18 month clinical trials and hope to do one more clinical trial. You see, clinical trial research is the only way we will ever bring an end to this disease. Finally, my new deeds include speaking about living with the disease, serving on the National Board of Directors, and serving on the Walk to End Alzheimer’s committee. All these things are good things brought about because of the disease.
God has somehow turned this diagnosis into something that will help others and maybe bring an end to this disease. Am I happy about living with dementia? Absolutely not! But the Holy Spirit fills me with joy and peace as I continue in the fight. Besides, when I am fighting or writing about the disease, I am not thinking about the final stages.
God is so gracious and I firmly believe and proclaim that in ALL things, God works for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose!