Your Soul Aches. You’re tired of running, but you keep on truckin’ down the same old dead end road of destruction you’ve been riding on for longer than anyone who loves you cares to remember. It’s like you’re a gerbil on a Ferris wheel spinning nonstop, never allowing you to get off. Jumping seems like the only option. You’re on the cold tile floor, praying over the porcelain god, wondering if this ride of insanity will ever stop.
Recovery is a lifetime commitment.
A wide variety of rehabilitation treatments are available in the modern marketplace. Many have a spiritual component. A few don’t. The reason for this is that addiction is rooted in a soul ache. Soul aches are deep seeded pains, discomforts, inhibitions, and adversities that we face. You feel inadequate. You think you are worthless—which is something different than feeling unworthy—or you decide that you have nothing of value to add to life’s conversation. You may be damaged, broken, hurt, or wounded. Life hurts. I get it. You turn to people, places, and things seeking comfort. Maybe you find it in a bottle or at the bottom of a shot glass. Perhaps you discover utopia in a chemical mix of booze and dope. Or you find comfort in food or use food to purge yourself. Whatever it is, your addiction has a firm grip on you and isn’t willing to let go. As you approach the cliff, you sense your addiction is prepared to step on the gas and extinguish your life if necessary to keep you.
Been there, done that.
In Psalm 1, the psalmist describes two roads. One path leads to the good things. The other street ends in destruction. For some reason, faced with two pathways, you always chose the wrong one. The road you picked seemed so right, how could it turn out so bad? Life does not have to end there. You can choose a different path—God’s way.
The Way of the Righteous and the Wicked
1 Blessed is the man
who walks not in the counsel of the wicked,
nor stands in the way of sinners,
nor sits in the seat of scoffers;
2 but his delight is in the law of the LORD,
and on his law he meditates day and night.
3 He is like a tree
planted by streams of water
that yields its fruit in its season,
and its leaf does not wither.
In all that he does, he prospers.
4 The wicked are not so,
but are like chaff that the wind drives away.
5 Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,
nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous;
6 for the LORD knows the way of the righteous,
but the way of the wicked will perish.
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Ps 1:1–6). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.
Recovering from addiction isn’t a matter of willing yourself to sobriety, pulling yourself up by your bootstraps, or getting your shit together and doing what you know is right. That’s not addiction at all. Addiction means you do it even though you don’t want to anymore. Addiction means you can’t stop, even though you know you should. Addiction means your life is spinning out of control, unraveling at the seams, and rapidly becoming more unmanageable with each passing day. You’re traveling at near light speed yet unable to escape your demon’s grasp. You alone cannot fix yourself. You need the help of others. Others who understand what it means to be so sick and tired that checking out of this life seems like a viable option.
How did you get here? At this point, that doesn’t matter as much as what you do now that you are here. Your soul aches. It hurts. You’ve left a wake of damage and brokenness as you stormed through people’s lives like a tornadocane. They may forgive you. They may not. You don’t control that. That’s not for you to say. That’s for them to decide. If they want to forgive you, that’s on them. Regardless, you can know forgiveness. You can find redemption. God’s already set the table. Open your heart, pull up a chair. Sit in His presence awhile so that the healing can begin. Sanity can be restored. Life can be renewed. It will work if you work it.
1 How well God must like you—
you don’t hang out at Sin Saloon,
you don’t slink along Dead-End Road,
you don’t go to Smart-Mouth College.
2–3 Instead you thrill to GOD’s Word,
you chew on Scripture day and night.
You’re a tree replanted in Eden,
bearing fresh fruit every month,
Never dropping a leaf,
always in blossom.
4–5 You’re not at all like the wicked,
who are mere wind-blown dust—
Without defense in court,
unfit company for innocent people.
6 GOD charts the road you take.
The road they take is Skid Row.
Peterson, E. H. (2005). The Message: the Bible in contemporary language (Ps). Colorado Springs, CO: NavPress.