Your road through Dementia:  find respite at the Pools of Baca

Everyone will have their own path through their unique brush with dementia. None will have a carbon copy of someone else’s experience. Dementia hits folks and impacts relationships in manifold ways. But we can still encourage others through what we have learned in our unique situations. I am hoping to have guest writers on this blog to deal with dementia problems I have not witnessed, thinking mainly of those whose loved ones became violent and angry in their dementia. So keep tuned: that’s in the works.

In this post, I want to stress how important it is to share your story, to help others not feel so alone, to give them ideas for coping with their situations. The most beautiful depiction of that I found in a surprise reading of a random part of the Bible not long ago. Have any of you heard of the “Pools of Baca”? I hadn’t, though have been a bible-reading Christian since 1982. The subject is found in Psalm 84 as follows. 

Psalm 84

  • Verse 5: Blessed are those whose strength is in You, who have set their hearts on pilgrimage. [I looked “pilgrimage” up: Pilgrimage is setting our hearts on the road that leads to God.] 
  • Verse 6: As they pass through the Valley of Baca [which means ‘weeping’], they make it a place of springs; the autumn rains also cover it with pools. 
  • Verse 7: They go from strength to strength, till each appears before God in Zion.

As I reflected on that, I have become quite excited as I see it coming together:

We are setting our hearts on pilgrimage as we set out in our lives to be all God wants us to be in the hills and valleys of our journey. We know it’s going to be hard [that’s life!], but we know God is strengthening us, will walk with us, will glorify Himself through our walk. We need not fear. He has already told us we will “face trials of many kinds” [check out the book of James in the Bible!] but has told us to persevere and work through those trials so we can be all He wants us to be. He says He will give us wisdom for each trial…as we ask Him and believe He is giving that to us.  

And the stories we’ll have throughout our journey will glorify Him. Each difficulty in that “Valley of Baca” will become a pool from our tears, which turns into a spring of blessing to others. How so? Well, I think God uses each difficulty to show us we are not alone—for He walks beside us, comforts us, strengthens us, gives us victory. And each of those difficulties in that Valley will also become a pool from which OTHERS can find refreshment and blessing as THEY benefit from the experiences we share with them–experiences of God strengthening us in manifold trials, giving us wisdom, encouragement, guidance, help, perseverance and blessing.  

All this is summed up in 2 Corinthians 1:3-4: “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.”  That’s a lot of comfort! And it is meant to be shared.

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