who is focused on getting their next high. Addiction is anything intended to fill a void, be a replacement for something or Someone, bigger. It creeps in during a moment in one's life when they feel vulnerable, rejected, unprotected, and unloved. It creeps in and interweaves and entangles a person's life with feel-good sensations, providing amnesia from a painful past, and disconnect from thoughts that consume and steal the very peace and joy one desires for the future. Once it has its hold, it begins to constrict. It begins to squeeze the very life out of the person to whom it promised it would bring unending reprieve. And in their powerless state the addicted begins to lose control, desperately holding on to whatever they feel they can get their hands on, in some last ditch effort to retain a sort of sense of their life. But it is elusive. It doesn't exist. Their life is no longer their own, and the promises that things would be better, bitterly begin to be unveiled as a lie. In this place an individual has a choice. A choice to hold on to the very thing that is killing them, in hopes that they have not been deceived. And a choice to reach out to something new...
As an observer, it is so easy to take this personally. To ask "Why? Why am I not good enough to cause the one I love to stop?" Making the situation about one's self, rather than the one who blindly suffers. This has been the painful case for many years for many people. For days, I have been seeing it in an entirely new light. I have been seeing it as a disease. A disease consuming the one I love.
I was asked, "Would you leave the bedside of someone who you knew was dying to cancer - or some other terminal illness? Would you take it personal that someone could not give you what you felt you needed? Or even deserved? How would you respond in a situation where your loved one was dying and appeared absolutely helpless to do anything about their circumstances, because they did not possess the energy or ability to take care of their self?"
Lord I wouldn't leave! I would stay right by their side. I would pray for them, and hope I would be able to nurse them back to health. I would live out Love by serving them in any capacity I knew how. I would allow You to take care of them through me. I would set aside my wants and hopes for their healing, if that is what it would take. I would acknowledge that I am the stronger one - right now - and that means it is time for me to take care of them for a season. Time for me to trust they will be healed, whatever that may look like. Trust they will see you in the acts of compassion, sacrifice and serving - and come to know and see you even more.
No longer was I holding on to my own pain. No longer was it captivating me, promising me things would be better, if only I let go. No longer was I being deceived that the grass is greener on the other side. No longer was I able to hold onto my weak justifications. No longer was I able to stand in my pride and not see that what was being asked of me was the very thing that was asked of the One I serve, and Who chose to make a very real sacrifice for me. Jesus did the very same for me. He chose to stand for me, because He knew one day I would be unable to do so, and now He was asking the same from me - but not in my own strength, in His. I have never seen addiction like this before.
I have seen it as selfish and something someone could do something about - if they WANTED to. Perhaps I was hardened to it, because of the pain I have experienced because of it. But now, now, I will never be able to see it that way again, and I am grateful for it. God in His compassion and love for others, will show those around them something new, because He knows they have the eyes to see. He in His infinite love for those drowning in their own pain, will provide a life float through others - provided others are willing to let down their guard, let go of their pride, and truly see them as the Lord sees them.
Glory be to God for His goodness.
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