For my younger readers, I have something to share with you for your benefit, your growth, your maturity.
Life is filled with tremendous challenges. If you have been spared to this point, thank God for his mercy. But even if you have been spared, should you have the blessing of many more years, there will be a load to carry. This is one of life’s great lessons for the aged; the curse is real, not only in a spiritual sense, but in a very personal, very visceral sense as well.
As I have observed my own mother’s decline over the years into dementia (and she is still quite lucid and happy these days), I recognize some of the stone and stubble landscape that Dr. Groothuis describes in the linked article.
Please, young Christian, take the time to read what Dr. Groothuis has written and consider the depths of the merciful care of God. This is not a pure “thought exercise”, for it will be lived out by you and your loved ones in the years to come.
Bediviled by My Wife’s Dementia by Douglas Groothuis.
“It should not be overlooked that we tend to regard predestination as a part of a philosophical theory. For us it is the answer to the question, ‘Are all things determined or not?’ For Paul it is the answer to quite another question, ‘How much of our salvation is due to God?’ It is part of man’s make-up that he likes to think that he earns his salvation. When he sees that the cross rules out the way of human merit and that he is saved by grace, by God’s free gift, he tries to salvage something from the wreck. He thinks that at any rate he deserves some credit. He made the right decision. He decided to be a Christian. He chose God. The doctrine of predestination takes this last prop from under him. He could not decide this, left to himself. The reason he is a believer is not that he chose God but that God chose him. Predestination is the assurance that all of our salvation, from the very beginning to the end, is of God. We ought never to think of it other than in relation to salvation. That is where Paul sets it. It assures me that my salvation is no improvised affair, brought into being by a more or less fortuitous decision of my own. I am saved because none less than God willed it and predestined me before all the ages. Nothing at all can give the believer assurance like this great truth.”
–Leon Morris, The Cross in the New Testament, p.215