As the Baby Boomers enter their twilight years, mental health care systems will come under scrutiny, since studies suggest a high percentage of this cohort may begin to experience dementia. Local news reports express concern over the inadequacy of mental health services to meet this growing need. The cost of elder care threatens government health care spending, not just here at home, but around the world.
Is it disheartening to feel part of a cohort that is statistically doomed to experience this health challenge? If our health and memory are dependent on bodily conditions, and drugs and surgery can’t offer hope, we may feel very lost indeed.
Yet, people are finding solutions. Many seniors are aware that spirituality, faith and church attendance have a positive impact on their health. And active research is beginning to find consistent evidence to support these findings. The search for spiritual solutions makes sense given that the Bible shares an extensive record of spiritual healing of any health issue, including mental illness. The vitality of spiritual healing, with its proven results, can bring solutions to what seems an intractable problem.
An insane man who was violent and self-destructive once confronted Jesus. His mental demons were many – described as “Legion”(Mark 5). However great and incurable this challenge seemed to be, Jesus healed him. The villagers were astonished to find him sitting calmly – “clothed and in his right mind.”
If we could package Jesus’ treatment of this condition for over-the-counter sales, it would be a best seller! His treatment, however, was not some miracle potion. He reached the thought of those he healed in a way that did not need to research any physical or biomedical condition. Knowing the man was God’s perfect creation – not what appeared to the senses – affected a changed mental state from one of insanity to one of sound mind and body.
Why does skepticism creep into the search for health when it comes to the Bible’s extensive record of spiritual healing? I guess because it can’t be explained in the current paradigm of a laboratory setting under a microscope. But what has happened to the heart, mind and spirit of anyone who has been healed through the understanding of God and His love for His creation, is an experience that we shouldn’t simply dismiss with disbelief and doubt.
The symptoms of dementia vary, but one prominent factor is a loss of memory. This forgetfulness greatly distressed one individual. She relates how she was healed after she had reached a point of feeling as if she was losing her mind; when it became so difficult to remember anything.
In Linda’s published account, she shares this Bible verse, which became her constant companion: “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.” (Phil.2:5) As a student of Christian Science, she had come to understand this Mind to be divine; and as such, it included qualities of sharpness, perception and recall.
In harmony with the Bible’s teachings, this Science helped her understand more fully that God is the one supreme and infinite Mind. And as a result of God’s creative power, Linda perceived that her true identity – like all of ours – was spiritual. Therefore, the only source of thought and mental activity of every one of us is a reflection of divine Mind.
As her thought changed, she increasingly felt “in her right mind” – a state that was always hers as a beloved child of a loving Creator. Her memory returned; she could recall what she was doing, people’s names and even where she’d left the car keys!
Romans 12:2 says, “Be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”
Inadvertently we slip into agreeing with current opinion that with age comes decline and mental challenges. That need not be the accepted case! What if goodness is the reality of life? Heartfelt prayer – a renewing of thought – can reconcile us to God’s goodness and transform our lives. Relying on a spiritual understanding of God for our health and well-being has been a mainstay for centuries, and it hasn’t lost any of its efficacy in any age.
This article is published in several Metroland Media outlets, such a Inside Halton.