A young man walked into a bad situation one afternoon as he was confronted with an item found within the pocket of his pants. His grandmother was emptying the pockets before placing the pants in the washer. The item was used for something illegal. The young man’s grandfather waited until the boy had woken up from another night of partying before asking about the item. The boy had little to say. He was caught. The lies would no longer work. The disappointment filled the room, as well as the hearts of the grandparents. They couldn’t believe the things their grandson was doing with his life.
A man was lying in the yard of his parent’s home after consuming a combination of unknown chemicals. Foaming from the mouth, the man choked on his own fluid. His young niece and nephew found him lying in the grass, in and out of consciousness. An ambulance was dispatched to the home. The children and parents watched the paramedics tend to the man.
Several more times, the man was found close to death. He was eventually indicted for poor choices related to substance abuse. On probation, he was ordered to a rehabilitation center several states away. He stayed within that Christian-based sanctuary for nearly three months before running away. Somehow, he dodged the broken rule and was cleared of the charges against him. Several months later, he was on his way to prison for kicking a police officer while drunk.
These are true stories of two people close to me. Two people with many of the same problems. The boy in the first story is me. The man in the second story is a family member. Unfortunately, the man that I was able to become is not like my family member. I chose to take a step in the right direction, while my family member continues to choose not to.
There is a certain thing that the man and I have shared. It was confirmed just the other day. My family member had told someone else within the family that he, “cannot let go of” something. He is continuing to harbor something within that causes him to live the life that he does. He knows the truth, yet he feels as though the mistake, or pain, or whatever it is that he cannot let go of is worth holding on to. It is worth the pain that he continues to cause himself and everyone around him.
I once shared this lack of being able to let go of a past issue that kept me within the bondage of self-harm and harmful life choices. Facing the long road of change began with the knowledge of having a problem, and then a true desire to take the first step in a direction of change. It was only then that I began to see the underlying issues that weighed me down. With a clean mind free from the substances, I was looking through a clear lens. It was then that I was able to see the Lord with clarity. He was patiently awaiting my arrival. It was through His grace and truth that I was able to become at peace with my past, myself and most around me. I wish that I could say the road has been easy, comforting and completed, but it hasn’t been and isn’t. But, I can say that it is within His hands, and I know that progress is a process within His grace. I trust in Him with each day presented, and it is embraced one day at a time. Each day brings what it will, but I hold onto the truth I have found in His mercy and love.
The journey begins with the first step. The world is out to harbor the truth of Jesus Christ, and it is within the world one fails. One cannot succeed without the presence of Him within. He is the part that is void within so many. He is the strength that so many fail to find. Myself, my family member and everyone on this spinning rock hurdling through space have problems. We all have past mistakes, things that harbor our potential, and demons. We also have a Savior, and His name is Jesus. Will you allow Him to heal your life?
Sometimes I see others suffering from so much pain and suffering within their lives. They grab a bottle, shoot a poison in their veins, chase broken hopes, fill themselves with the world (things not of Him), continuously fumbling, stumbling, losing ground and falling off of the wagon. Sinking. Drowning. Dying. Going nowhere, fast. No life, no joy and no peace.
I encourage you to ask yourself, “Am I tired of running?”
The Lord awaits, and He provides. I wouldn’t be so passionate about Him if I didn’t know that He was real. He is peace. He is joy. He is what is missing within. I pray tonight that someone reading finds the courage to face the truth, and finds the love and hope of Jesus. Please, call out His holy name.