Healing from Addiction

    Have you ever wondered what happens in the life of an athlete like Leon Lett of the Dallas Cowboys?
Lett, a star player on the team, has been paid a million dollars a year,  and recently was suspended for a year for testing positive to drug use.   What is there in the life of  a person with more money than most of us will ever see in a life time using  that  money  to  buy drugs  that  destroy  their  body and the mind?


     But it is not merely the rich and the successful who fall prey to drug addiction..  Inner city kids become addicted because that seems to be the only  excitement in town.  Abused children get into drugs because of  anger, retaliation, and escape.   There are all kinds of surface  reasons people become addicted.

    Regardless of how one gets into addiction, the important thing is:  how do I get out of it?  Until one has an intense  desire to be free from addiction one  will remain captive.  At that point one  becomes willing to reach out for help.

    Consider the example of  my friend  who shared his experience with me.

        "I began drinking at age 12, and  by thirteen I had become an everyday drinker.  I thought I had the worse home life that a person could have.   There was physical abuse and along with this comes emotional abuse.  I did not have anyone to  turn to for help.   I didn't know a darn thing about God.

    I was 22 years old before I set foot in a church.  That was the day  I buried my dad.  I pursued my party lifestyle after that.   I was in a church  a few times before  I buried my mom. That was in 1987.   I really hit bottom the next year consuming large quantities of alcohol and drugs. At the lowest point of my life  I was consuming two fifths of vodka a day and snorting what we called an 8 ball or more of cocaine a day.  To support my habit,  I spent every bit of an inheritance my mother left me.  I made drugs the top  priority of my life and allowed  my family to go  without  things so I could  support my drug habit. I thought it was under  control. From outward appearances  I was a successful professional.  I thought I had it all together. I was working everyday, and in my own eyes functioning well. I believed  I had the habit hidden from my wife.  One weekend she found some drugs and I told her that it was a weekend thing and she "seemed" to believe me, but I could not hide the fits of rage, I could not hide the paranoia, I could not hide all the effects that go with  drug abuse.  I  became  aggravated when she would not drink with me.

    On September 17, 1988,  I was seriously considering suicide. I had thought about suicide ever since I was a teenager.  On this day, I was in the basement and my wife and two children were upstairs.  I had a gun in my mouth.  I simply said,  "God, I don't know you. I don't know anything about you.  I don't know if you are real.  I know I can't go on like this. If you are there, save me,  and if you are not, it doesn't matter.  Suddenly  I was overwhelmed by a warm flush  that passed  through my entire body.   I put the gun down. At that point I realized that something had happened but I didn't  know what.   From that minute on, I have never consumed any alcohol or drugs.

    That was the beginning of my journey to Christ. I still didn't know Him. I  didn't know He had anything to do with it.  I sought traditional counseling trying to find out the typical psychological reasons why I might have ventured down that road.  We talked about child abuse and that kind of thing.

    Just getting off drugs was only the beginning.  My life was messed up even when I was sober.  My life needed healing.   There was a lot of self-examination that needed to be done.  Five years ago some dear friends invited us to Western Hills Baptist Church  and I really began my journey to find out who Christ is.  Immediately this meant something to me.   I didn't know how awesome God is and how relating to Him  can change our lives.   My journey is far from over. But our God is a great God.  He loves us, He cares for us, and never gives up on us.  Christ has been helping me put my life in order.  I have an inner happiness that is related to Him.   Because of His help I have been  able to  help  others who  have various kinds of addictions.  I am  involved in teaching a course for people who want to overcome addictions of any kind.  It is called Celebrating Recovery."

        It has been said that there is a God shaped vacuum in the heart of every man and nothing else can fill that emptiness, not drugs, sex, alcohol, money, power, food or anything else man tries. Yet when God comes in,  so does joy, and the junk goes out!   Jesus said,  "Happy are those whose greatest desire is to do what God requires;  God will satisfy them fully!" (Mt. 5:6)   When one  has a personal relationship with Christ their life is transformed.   The change is so great that they actually become a new person.  "If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old ways pass away, and everything becomes new." (2 Cor. 5:17)

    How does one come to Christ?   Exactly the same way one gets into the drug culture, you give yourself to it.   You give yourself to God  instead, and let him change  your life.  You can do this in the same way that my friend did, in prayer.   "God, I don't know anything about you, whether you are real or not.   I am desperate and I need  deliverance.  I have read the words of Scripture  that you are able to deliver me from  bondage of any kind.  I call upon you to come into my life, deliver me from the mess I have made of my life and help me to start anew.  I ask this in the name of Jesus, the Savior, Amen!

    If you have just prayed and asked Christ to save you, remember  that like my friend you have only taken the first step.  Now you need to get to really know Christ  and the life he has in store for you.  Jesus, "is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy" (Jude 24)

       For information about the study course  Celebrating Recovery, check  here

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