When I was asked this morning what to make the subject of my next devotional, my thoughts immediately jumped to the Bible.
There are many things I like about the Bible, but perhaps the one that means the most to me at the moment is that the Bible is a beacon of Truth. In a world where there are so many opposing doctrines floating around, where the world has so deconditioned us to sin that many are willing to compromise, even in churches, the one thing we desperately need as an anchor of Truth. Fortunately for us, God knew this thousands of years in advance, and He gave us His Word; the unerring beacon of Truth: “Consult God’s instruction and the testimony of warning. If anyone does not speak according to this word, they have no light of dawn.” (Isaiah 8:20 NIV)
I have believed this all my life, and this Truth has taken me out of the miry clay and set my feet firmly upon the Rock, Jesus Christ. I am not sure, however, that I have ever truly appreciated having such a Beacon of Truth as much as I do today…
The progressive dementia that hinders me is producing more and more numerous times when I am completely out of touch with reality. There are hallucinations that seem even more real than real life; and coupled with this is my shifting memory. I remember one isolated incident and my mind bundles it with a totally different one.
Take, for example, last week. My older son took me to the cinema over the holidays to see a film we both enjoyed. I came back so happy that my wife suggested we go to the movies more often. Our younger son and daughter-in-law got on the band wagon and said they would suggest good movies as they came out. My mind pieced all of that together, and my reality the other day was that my older son came to me in the morning and said he was going to take me see a movie that afternoon.
I was so excited. I ran down and told my wife. I didn’t understand why she wasn’t as excited as I was. Why was she saying that my son was at his home, a two hour drive away? Didn’t she know he had spoken to me in person that same morning? And why didn’t she believe me that he was going to take me to the movies that afternoon? I even knew what movie we were going to go see. Unfortunately I couldn’t think of the name of the movie, and so as my wife stood there with that knowing look on her face shaking her head, I told her to call our son and he would confirm the story.
Well I thought it was a good idea. Why, then, did she start to cry? Then she started going on about how he wasn’t even up yet, and if she called him, she would wake him up. Of course he was up! He had spoken to me that very morning!
Things got a little out of hand then. I kept trying to make her believe what I was sure I had seen and heard, and she kept trying to make me believe that it had been a hallucination.
I have grown to hate that word! Just hearing it makes my skin crawl. Not necessarily because of its real definition; but because of the definition I have associated with it: Whenever someone says that word, it means they don’t believe me! And since this was usually my wife, the mere mention of the word breaks my heart! Why won’t my wife believe me? Of course, she is saying the same thing to me. “I am your wife,” she says. “You know your mind plays tricks on you. Let me be your measure of reality!”
Sometimes that is enough to bring me back to reality. Just knowing I have an anchor of truth, of reality, someone who I trust to help me differentiate between realty and hallucinations is usually a big comfort to me. Not that day, however. Rather, I was hurt to the core that she didn’t believe me. It ended up with me calling my son so that he could “prove” to his mom that I was right and she was wrong. Of course, you already know how that turned out. I had the biggest disappointment of my life. He didn’t “prove” to his mom that I was right, he proved to me that I was very, very wrong….
This is a daily struggle, and I pray God will bring me to the point where I will either be delivered from these hallucinations, or I will learn to trust my wife when she tells me that something I so vividly saw or heard didn’t happen… But even more importantly, I pray daily that God will bring me to the point that I will trust the Bible as my anchor of Truth…
You may find yourself in the same situation I found myself in years ago where you begin to realize that the “truth” you’ve upheld all of your life isn’t actually in accordance with the Bible. When you do, please know this: Where my wife is admittedly sometimes wrong, the Bible is never wrong! And when in doubt, check out these texts:
“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,” (2 Timothy 3:16 NIV)
“Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.” (John 17:17 NIV)
No matter what spiritual “reality” you grew up with or have been convinced of, if it isn’t in accordance with God’s Word, it is wrong. Let the Bible be your unerring guide to Truth!
As told by Rob Chaffart
Director, Answers2Prayer Ministries