How Does Our Faith Help with Addictions?
How do we incorporate God into the healing process? First, we have to know we have a God who understands. One of my favorite verses in the bible is Hebrews 4:13-16.
“And there is no creature hidden from his sight, but all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do. Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heaven, Jesus the son of god, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in theme of need.”
We can’t hide from God. He knows our addictions. More importantly he knows the struggles of life on earth. Recently a prisoner cried in group as she told about the absence of any consistent, loving, parental figure in her childhood. Her mom was abused sexually as a child. Her mother loved her but was incapable of being a mother as she was still a child inside an adult body. Her dad committed suicide when she was young. “How could a loving God let all this happen?” she sobbed.
I asked permission to answer her question from my Christian perspective. She consented and I told her gently the following. “This is a broken world. Brokenness does not get made right until heaven. But, my Jesus did not sit on this throne in heaven and look down with disgust at what a mess we have made. MY GOD ENTERED THE MESS. He came into the world, born to a poor family. He was misunderstood. His family thought he was crazy. He was abused physically. He was a wanted man. The Pharisees wanted him dead. He was falsely accused and took the punishment for something he did not do.
He hung naked on a cross enduring the public and private shame.
He was betrayed. He was abandoned. He had an emotional breakdown in the garden of Gethsemane asked for help from his three closest friends who fell asleep. He was hungry. He was tempted. He felt the weight of sickness and pain. He was lonely and rejected by many. My God sympathizes with this prisoner and her pain. He lived on this earth and experienced pain and brokenness firsthand. He is safe to ask for help.
Ultimately, he died for sin. Sin is the root of the whole mess. He offers forgiveness and restoration to broken relationships.
Just take a moment. This week take several quiet times with God. Come just as you are weak and broken. Tell God you cannot overcome your addiction without His help. Tell him about your childhood pain. Tell him about the feelings you are so afraid to feel. The feelings you don’t know what to do with. The feelings you medicate. The feelings you need to distract yourself from. Name them. Pray for a group and a mentor.
Ask for patience as healing is always a slow miracle; rarely a fast one. Thank Him for entering the mess, for understanding the pain and struggle of living in this world. Picture him with the exact feelings you just named. Picture a scene in his life where he felt your feeling. Thank him for being a God who was willing to suffer so he could understand. Now picture Jesus comforting you. Tenderly. Lovingly. Patiently. Now see God being a refuge for you. Picture some sort of shelter. See yourself there. Use these pictures when you feel compulsions to use a cheap substitute for the real thing.