I have been very busy lately with the end of this semester fast approaching, along with life’s other obligations. I’ve been able to spend some time praying though, and it has brought up a theme for me; resisting temptation and the lies of the enemy.
This is in stark contrast to the promises of Yahweh, and what he can offer us to sooth our weary souls.
For those us with mental illness and/or addiction, we tend to experience emotions in a BIG way. Often we are just overwhelmed by them, and hence we seek out a way to ease that pain. The enemy tells us “I have these drugs, all kinds of drugs, pick one…it will sooth your suffering and take it all away”. Or maybe it’s sex, gambling, taking big risks; anything that takes us out of the pain and brings us a rush.
But as we know, this never lasts. In fact, when the high wears off we are much worse off than when we first started. Not to mention the trauma, the family rifts, and many other consequences of our using that we now have to deal with. The enemy lies to us, and by the time we realize we are trapped in this cycle of addiction and pain, we face a huge struggle to climb back out.
But we don’t have to do it alone. The entire time we were searching, searching, searching for that fix—that high—that thrill, He was waiting with his arms outstretched to us with real hope.
The enemy tells us, “Go ahead, indulge yourself and feel better”
“Go ahead, follow your own desires and thrills”
“Go ahead, I can make you feel better than you ever imagined.”
When this fails, when we end up doing nothing and sacrificing everything for that fix/that false cure—we end up often considering suicide. Imagine how the enemy feels when he tricks us into following his way, and then takes our very life from us? That is exactly what he wants to do; steal, kill, and destroy.
You know how horrible it feels when a young person dies, because that had to feed that addiction? Or a middle ages person dies and leaves their children and spouse, questioning and devastated?
It is as if we can see how things could have been. In an alternate universe, in a world where their life had a difference ending; we can see how much was lost for this addiction. It is so breathtakingly sad. It was almost my fate as well.
This is a song by R.E.M called “Country Feedback”, and I listened to it a lot as teen. Part of the refrain goes like this;
“It’s crazy what you could have,
Crazy what you could have had,
I need this…I need this…”
I used to cry so hard at that, because it cut to my soul. I knew I could have another life. I saw a future that could have been mine; college, love, children, etc. but I needed my high so badly that I just couldn’t have it. I could feel that other future, and its loss (and my inability to stop myself) was so gut wrenching.
Of course, my future is not what I believed it would be but ONLY because I have resisted and fought and clawed my way out of that abyss.
Yahushua (Jesus) tells us that we must hate even our very own life to be his disciple. What he means by that is, we must put him first and follow him no matter what.
We used to put drugs first, which leads to death…
We used to put risk taking first, which leads to death….
We used to put sex first, which leads to death….
We used to put cutting/self-injury first, which leads to death…
Oh now we have something glorious!
We put HIM first, which leads to LIFE!
We all struggle, if you are being tempted please remember that no temptation will overtake you that you cannot overcome with HIM. He always gives us a way out, he always shows us the narrow path that leads to life and bids us to walk in in—with Him.
I wish healing for you all.