These past couple of weeks I’ve had a lot of time to reflect on relapse while a friend fights for her life in an ICU. You see I am her sponsor and have been cheering her on in getting sober from prescription pain pills. She was getting so close to not taking any more after having had surgery. She was down to her last pill.
Yet, sometimes that is all it takes to relapse. Two weeks ago she took her last Oxycodone along with a Valium (as a muscle relaxant) and jumped into her compact car and fell asleep while driving. She hit a tree going 55 mph. Doctors are doing all they can to repair her many broken bones but she still is not out of the woods. And if and when she pulls through, her recovery physically will be months at minimum. The emotional and psychological recovery could take much longer.
I spoke at my Recovery meeting last week concerning Step 2 – We came to believe that a Power (Jesus Christ) greater than ourselves can restore us to sanity. Addictions and compulsions lead to insanity – trying to do the same thing over and over again wishing for a different outcome. Yet, we are still stuck on the gerbil wheel going nowhere. Sanity involves living life a new way as a new creation.
The thing is, we can’t get off the gerbil wheel by ourselves. I remember when I first had to learn to ask for help in doing life a different way. I did not know any other way to change. Just the night before my friend’s accident, I had been firmly speaking with her about all the things that were unmanageable in her life and what she was powerless over. She struggled to grasp how God’s son, Jesus, could ever love her because of all the “evil” things she had done in her life. She stated she would never be able to understand how God could love her, so she was certain she would not be going to heaven when she dies. All she could see was herself as a failure.
The thing is, though we believe we can never change and that God could not love or forgive us, no one told Jesus that. Jesus’ love for us is beyond our comprehension and ability to grasp. He cares about us so much that he pursues us while we are still in the middle of our messes, addictions and shame. He doesn’t need us to get cleaned up first before we meet up with him. Jesus comes to us in our brokenness and loves us just as we are, broken bones, hearts, minds and lives.
Jesus says, “Let me care for you and give you a new life and a new body.
“This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” 2 Corinthians 5:17 NLT
Jesus fills us up with Himself and makes us brand new! The key is that I receive what Jesus is giving me. All I have the ability to do is to choose to receive his gift or to reject it.
“Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” Hebrews 4:16 NIV
I choose Jesus’ gift of grace and mercy. I trust that you will do the same. Share your decision in the comments below.
Please pray my friend in ICU is able to receive God’s gifts too. She is hungering and thirsting for God’s righteousness. I know Jesus’ promise is true!
“Blessed (happy) are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.” Matthew 5:6 NIV