Addictions and the Saving Power of Jesus Christ
The deal was for a ‘key’, 1000 grams of crystalline crank, what a lot of the speed freaks were now calling ‘meth’. I had agreed to be at the meet because I was into my dealer for over two thousand dollars. He now owned me and I knew it.
As we sat in his Vette, he was smoking swisher sweet cigars which smelled like oily rags to me. I could tell he was nervous but I tried to hold myself together, even though I knew the danger I was in. Scanning the parking lot, I thought to myself, “This is it, if you meet with the source, these guys will never let you out of their sight.” Life as I knew it was over. I had sold myself for six months of partying.
I heard the rustle of his leather jacket and saw that Jet, one of his many aliases, was digging out an amber colored vial. Opening it he scooped out a blast of meth with a coke spoon and snorted it. Turning to me he said, “Here ya go, John Boy, see there are benefits of riding shotgun!” He offered me a spoonful and I sucked it down. “Yeah, brother, we are family now. But when these guys show up, lay back and let me do all the talking. If they ask you anything just nod and point to me. It is better that way for you and for me.” I had no problem with this, the last thing I wanted right now was to be noticed.
I reached in my pocket and lit up a cigarette. I could see that my hand was shaking, some from the situation mainly because the crank hit me hard with ‘rushes’ and I really needed a drink to even out. “Why didn’t I bring a bottle?” I thought. Leaning my head back and closing my eyes I tried to understand how I had gotten here. Only a year ago I had been married, it was not a good marriage but I had my son in my life every day! Now after a war-torn divorce, my addictions were out of control. I had seen my son less and less. I was about to become a drug dealer. My life was in the tank, and the problem was I did not seem to care.
Addictions, some of us wear them like a badge. Others try to hide them and still others refuse to even admit they exist. In this sin worn world every one of us struggle with some form of them, if we want to admit it or not.
After much prayer, I have chosen to share my history with addiction in this blog. Not to boast, heaven forbid. But to open a door that maybe some of you who read this do not want open. I do it because I know who is waiting on the other side of that door, Jesus Christ. And He is the only one who can help us when we are ready to admit our struggles and are willing to turn them over to Him.
Addiction, I think is a word that most people associate with people like myself, strung out on drugs. Seeking that next drink. Substance abusers. And, of course that is very true, we are addicts. But I have come to see that addictions run much deeper. The definition that I give it these days is: “Anything that we become obsessed with other than God.” What is it each day that you feel you cannot live without? Maybe it is that cup of coffee. That reality show. That piece of cake. Or maybe, as unlikely as it seems, it is that good work you seek to do and have become obsessed with. Simple things that in themselves are harmless, until they become more important than your or my daily walk with the Savior.
The apostle Paul wrote this powerful verse, “I have the right to do anything,” you say- but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything” – but I will not be mastered by anything.” (1 Corinthians 6:12) We have the right of free choice, it is a God given right. But not every choice we will make today will be beneficial. And if we are being mastered by our addictive choices and they are controlling us than we will find ourselves farther from God. It always works that way.
Jesus through the cross offers us a better reality. The amazing thing is that no matter how far that addiction takes us away from Him, “He has now reconciled you in His body of flesh by His death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before Him.” (Colossians 1:22) Can you wrap your mind around this? If we are willing to surrender our struggle with whatever it is over to Him. He has already dealt with the sin involved. You are without reproach and can have the holiness He seeks for you and me. But He cannot do that if you are not willing.
I came to Jesus still deep in my addictions. I was arrogant and unbelieving. But as I began to see in His Word the love He had for me, a sinner and still unrepentant. I came across these words, “But God demonstrates His love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Jesus died for us.” (Romans 5:8) That was a reality I could not resist. It did not happen all at once but slowly I saw in the light of that love I had found the truth that was deeper than my addictions and in 2010 I took my last drink.
I wish I could say all my ‘addictions’ have melted away, not true. But the closer I draw to Jesus, the more I see things that are keeping me from the holiness he wants for me. It is amazing what He will show you once you open that door. But be assured you will never have to do it alone, He will be with you every step of the way!
That drug deal went down. My life did change for the worse. I began a separation with my son that has not healed to this day. Eventually I had to leave the state I was in and hide out in another to keep from being swept up in a huge sting that brought down most of the people I was dealing with. Friends put me abroad a plane and paid for the ticket. I look at it as God’s grace. The pain of all of this is still real to me. I choose to share praying one person might read this and find hope for themselves. It is my prayer today you will, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” (Matthew 7:7) There is nothing you have done, He cannot forgive. I am living proof. May you be also.