I apologize for missing all of last week here at Calvary, Couponers, and Crafters. If you’ve read the introduction to yesterday’s End of the Age Updates post, you will have read why, but for those who didn’t I’ll explain here. My mother has been dealing with dementia for the past few years. My older sister moved her in with her and has been caring for her during that time. Mom’s memory problems have progressed enough that her doctor advised my sister to place mom in a nursing home which happened last Tuesday. I found out a few days before that that it was definitely happening. Tuesday morning before mom was admitted to the nursing home, she had a doctor’s appointment at which time her dementia was upgraded to Alzheimer’s. I’m a very sentimental girl who adores her mama and owes her everything. A Godlier, more loving and giving woman you would be hard pressed to find. It really knocked me for a loop and I took the week off from anything not absolutely necessary to just deal with my grief and spend time with mom helping her to adjust to the changes. One silver lining is that the nursing home is less than two miles from where we live now. I could walk there if the road to get there wasn’t so busy and had a decent berm to walk on.
I spent a lot of time crying out to God asking why He allowed this to happen to someone who loves Him as much as my mom does and to someone who is so good, loving, and giving. Of course the words I’d counseled others in the past came back to me (don’t you hate it when you eat our own words? 🙂 )
My mom used to read her Bible every day. Now she just reads a Billy Graham book over and over again. It’s called, “Where I Am: Heaven, Eternity, and our Life Beyond.” That is till she went into the nursing home. She has the book with her, but tells me she just sits and watches TV and sleeps. She may, in fact, be reading and just forgets she did. Every time I ask her what she had for lunch or dinner, she always says she can’t remember. Her memory is crystal clear about things that happened years ago. Even details like what my distant cousin’s first husband’s last name was. But not short-term things like breakfast or who visited her earlier.
So much has happened in the last 12 years or so to test my faith and it seems like it’s never ending. My son’s autism, my husband’s kidney transplant after being on dialysis for five years, losing 3 of my best friends (who are with Jesus now), my brother being killed in a terrible industrial accident in 2011, we lost our home we built and loved so much last summer and have moved back to my hometown to be closer to mom. I didn’t realize we would be SO close to her once the nursing home was chosen and she is so close to me. That part is a blessing for ME. But this is about HER, not me. I just worry about her being there and hoping she is well treated. My sister and I visit often to try to ensure she is. It’s the same nursing home her sister, my aunt Edith was in and it turns out (I found out today) that it’s the very same room.
In the midst of the crying and depression and anxiety, I spent a lot of time in the Bible and seeking God about all this. What I left with (and still have) is one statement, “God is good.” Then remembered the rest that we used to say at my former Bible study and former church… “God is good…ALL the time.” “ALL time time…God is good.”
I’m reminded that God doesn’t allow anything to enter the life of a believer in His Son Jesus Christ that He hasn’t already sifted through His fingers first. Nothing takes Him by surprise. My sister and I can’t be there in the nursing home with mom 24/7, but God can. My mom has been a faithful servant to Him (and everyone around her) since she was a young girl. Her father was a pastor and her mother a Godly woman as well. Scripture promises that ALL things work together for good….well, here is the verse:
“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” –Romans 8:28 (KJV)
Not just anyone can lay claim on that promise. It’s a promise for those who are blood-bought believers in Jesus and his death and resurrection. It’s “for them that love God” and, “to them who are called according to his purpose.” My mom loves the Lord with all her heart and has definitely been called. So I have to believe that the Lord God will allow this to work for mom’s good. I also believe that my sister and I can claim this promise as we both have been saved by the blood of Jesus and are thus called according to His purpose. So this has to happen for the good of us all. It just has to. It’s His promise. I’m holding on to this.
I read a devotional on my YouVersion app last night that really spoke to me about God’s goodness, and I share that this week with you for our Mindful Monday devotional:
“Good,” isn’t that a fairly boring adjective when used to describe God, the Creator of the universe? Coffee is good, and so is the weather. Church is good, and that Sunday dinner following church was especially good. Children can be good, parents are good, the stock market is rarely good, but ice cream is always good! Some crazy people falsely believe that Brussels sprouts are good, but those of us who are sane individuals know that chocolate is the very best good!
Why does the Bible, the most complete and true Book of all time, merely describe God as the ever boring but completely useful “good”? God is the most creative genius in all of recorded eternity! God gloriously created giraffes, centipedes, canyons, and orchids. He designed Niagara Falls and the Sahara Desert. He engineered hyenas and diamonds. God is so much more than good!
All other superlatives come after “good.” If God is not good, then He is not powerful, nor is He faithful. If God is not good, then He could never be our Healer or our Provider. If God is not good— all the time— then it is impossible to trust Him or to pray to Him. God’s goodness is the source from which His character and His reputation are birthed, and all other divine attributes are built upon the foundation of God’s eternal and perpetual goodness.
God is good totally, absolutely, and unconditionally. There is no bad in God, and there never will be anything less than good in Him. God longs to heal you and not to hurt you. God’s plan for your life is to mend you and not to break you. God, who is the greatest good of all of eternity, desires His absolute best for all of your life every moment of your life. He longs for His goodness to seep into the crevices of every day of your ordinary but miraculous existence.
God is the greatest good that exists and is the Source of all lesser goods. Anything good that is experienced on Earth was birthed in God’s heart and because of His eternal goodness. Creation was spoken into existence because God is good. Music was conceived in the good heart of Father God himself. The gift of family was given to humanity because God saw that it was not good that man should be alone.”
From the devotional, “Refined-Finding Joy in the Midst of the Fire”, by Carol McLeod
I’m sure there will still be plenty of tears shed by me as I watch my mom’s memory dwindle away (should the Lord choose to allow it though of course I’m begging Him to heal her) and you’ll see posts from me talking about my heart breaking should she reach the point where she no longer knows me; but her creator will be holding her and I both in the palm of his nail-pierced hand and one day we will all have glorified bodies and be together in glory. What a day that will be!
“Good and upright is the Lord ; therefore he instructs sinners in the way.” —Psalms 25:8 ESV
“the voice of mirth and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride, the voices of those who sing, as they bring thank offerings to the house of the Lord : “‘Give thanks to the Lord of hosts, for the Lord is good, for his steadfast love endures forever!’ For I will restore the fortunes of the land as at first, says the Lord.” —Jeremiah 33:11 ESV
“The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; he knows those who take refuge in him.” —Nahum 1:7 ESV
“I say to the Lord , “You are my Lord; I have no good apart from you.” —Psalms 16:2 ESV