“And yet, the more I fought to change, the stronger the helpless feelings grew. I did not fit, but seemingly could not change my behaviors. Helplessness slowly transformed into a hopelessness that eventually infiltrated into not only my waking but also my sleeping hours. The worst part of this wasted existence was knowing I needed to transform myself and my life; sensing I could do nothing to begin the needed change process; and then developing a growing perspective that I would always be out of control. So of course, I did what I did best – I drank more…”
– excerpt from John’s Story
Have you ever tried to change addictive behavior? I have. It’s hard! About 11 years ago, I quit smoking and ended a 21-year habit. Since then, I have also let drinking go. Did I have to let these things go? No. Nobody made me, but I wanted to. They were keeping me from things I wanted more, and reminding me of things I wanted to forget. I feel the frustration in John’s struggle to change his behavior, and the helplessness it brings. I remember how I beat myself up for not being able to change what I wanted to change.
So how did John, in the story above, and so many others (myself included) find their way out? We both found the same source of hope, and the path that led us through the pain of letting go.
In the Holy Bible, Jesus tells us “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” in John 14:6. He was followed by a group of dedicated students, called disciples, who never got a map, they just followed him, and He showed them the way…showed them how to live. My experience has been like that. Through the tangled mess I call my life, He has carefully led me out of all of the things I was caught up in, all of the things that I thought would make my life happy and fun, and away from substitutes for what He could give. In one of my favorite stories in the Bible, told in John 4, Jesus tells a woman, “whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again.” When we call on Him, Jesus will show us the way out of whatever bind, addiction, or helpless situation we find ourselves in. I’ll leave you with one more promise:
“No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.” – 1 Corinthians 10:13
Jesus is the way of escape. Ask Him to rescue you.
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He will fight for you.