In other words, I try to focus on the positive things happening in my life without minimizing the reality of painful, difficult or hard situations. My focus isn’t on myself, but on Jesus. Jesus helps us to face the reality of our lives and stay focused on Him.” I continued explaining that, “One day, all things will be made new, and yet as a family we are facing your dementia together by the grace of God. While it’s understandable that you are facing fear and anxiety about your dementia, I encourage you to look to Jesus.
Read the Psalms and notice how David cried out to God in the midst of his pain and struggles. Now read Matthew 11:28-30. Jesus says His yoke is easy, which means He can carry all your burdens. Since Jesus is our peace, the Holy Spirit grants to us His peace which surpasses all understanding. As a son of King Jesus, you are entitled to all the rights and benefits of your adoption as a son of the King, and the grace of God super-abounds toward you. This truth will help you and encourage you to rest in Jesus.”
4. Give them the Gospel. In my letter to my dad, I shared with him, “When you face fear, guilt and shame, look to Jesus. He is the solution and answer to our greatest struggles because He experienced all of our pain and struggles and yet never sinned. When we look to Jesus, we look to One who knows us through and through and yet is unlike us because He is holy. Jesus is more than just our example, He is our Savior, Lord, King, Priest, Mediator and Intercessor.”
5. Be real. Ministering to my dad is causing me to be real. It would be easy for me to compartmentalize the pain and to shove it down, but that would also be unhealthy. Rather than being anxious about my dad’s future, I’ve resolved to trust God. This doesn’t make it any easier, but it does make it bearable because our God has big shoulders that we can lean upon. His promises are our bedrock and the foundation for why we can be real.
While I’m 500 miles away from my dad, I’m very encouraged by the work of God’s grace in his life. Whether you are ministering to those with severe illness or a disease, understand that God uses ordinary people for extraordinary purposes, so join Him in His unfolding story of redemption right where you are by being teachable, humble and available as an instrument to know and make known the glorious news of the Gospel.