I heard this statement recently, “God’s people are paralyzed by unbelief.” Paralyzed is a strong word. So is unbelief.
In my travels through the dementia process with John, I was paralyzed many times. Paralyzed by the enormity of his illness, the loss of his soul. And, I was shocked to discover how unbelief was a silent thread that ran through my faith. I could hear it when I would begin to pray “Lord! I cry out to you! [He's not going to answer, He has gone silent.] I ask you Lord, to sort through this for me, I don’t know what to do [silence, I told you, He's not answering your prayers].
There is it: Paralysis. My prayers would end because the unbelief won out. The battle was on another line now–Lord, how long have I been an unbelieving believer?
The problem was not the problem after all; the problem was buried down in the roots of my inner self. The problem was a stronghold of unbelief. It is said that when all is said and done, all of our Christian blockage results from one of two things (or both at the same time): Pride and Unbelief. They are the two snags in our growth–the snags that keep us from enjoying the abundant life that Jesus promised. For me, unbelief is the clog that moves me out of abiding in Christ. I know He can; but I don’t believe that He Will.
I am painfully aware of how serious this is to my Bridegroom. These two issues were the stumbling blocks for the children of Israel every time–it kept them out of the promised land for forty years–it keeps many of us out of our promised land for forty years as well–it kept me out of my promised land until I was in my forties, and still it lurks around the corners of my prayer life, though certainly not to the same degree. I can hear it now when it threatens to rob me of my peace and I have learned how to put it to silence: Praise. Praise on this side of the Red Sea. Praise on this side of the Jordan, not after the deliverance–Before the deliverance–even when there is no deliverance forthcoming.
My relationship with Jesus now is based on His character, not on my ability to pump up some kind of spiritual high. His character is truth, steadfastness, certainty, secure. He never changes.
And He knows my heart and even my failure is built into the process of my walk with Him. What wonderful news that is. What a wonderful Bridegroom.
KATHLEEN IS THE AUTHOR OF "INTO THE MIST...Journey into Dementia" Check back for more future devotionals from her! Visit her website and to understand more about this inevitable condition, for many of our seniors - family or friends.