Dementia, Philippians 4:7 and how God will "Guard your mind in Christ Jesus"

Have you ever read the wrong Bible verse at the right time? You go to look up a particular passage and end up on the wrong page or the wrong verse, and yet it speaks to that very moment in such a way that you thank the Lord or taking you there.

I was visiting with a friend recently, someone who has been progressing through symptoms of dementia for some time now. It was the first time my friend didn't recognize me.  You've probably experienced something similar. Studies show over half of those 85 and older will experience some form of dementia.

I opened my Bible to share a comforting verse, and it was marked from another day.  It opened to Paul's letter to the Philippians, a chapter that has absolutely nothing to do with dementia, aging, or memory loss. It was the wrong verse (but the right time):

"And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:7

That really got to me. The wrong verse at the right time. I've read that verse a million times and never once considered its truth applying to the "long goodbye" we experience through dementia.

We think of those we love, living with some form of dementia, wondering what God is doing in their lives (or ours).  Romans 8:26 tells us that The Spirit intercedes for us when words fail us. Philippians 4:7 tells us that God can guard our hearts and minds when memories fail us.

As long as you are here on earth, God is working. He's working on you, through you, in you. There is no wasted life or wasted memory, and His ways will often "surpass all understanding."


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