The amazingness of God is in His ability to reach to the depths of our souls and pull out the broken parts with His healing. I was raised in church and raised by a God-fearing family who lived the Christian lifestyle. I’d heard thousands of stories and thousands of sermons, I had all the knowledge and even went to seminary.
However, without being deeply rooted in the word of God, knowledge alone can not keep us safe. In the summer of 2015, I was injured whilst working, I was crushed by a tractor and broke both hips, crushed my pelvis, fractured my spine and herniated two discs. It took months and months for me to walk again.
I became addicted to pain medication and started to take more than I needed, I would purposefully chase the high that it gave me. When the medication wore off, I convinced myself that God would understand if I turned to whiskey to cover up the pain.
At this time, I had allowed Satan to creep into my mind and create for himself a place inside my head. He convinced me that I was hopeless, that my life was full of chaos, and that I would always be miserable. Worst of all, he made me believe that every bit of sadness and pain I faced was mine to deserve, and that my life was over.
I had hit the ultimate low point in my life, I felt like I had been dragged through the mud backwards. I had so many addictions and so many broken pieces in my life that I couldn't even begin to put them back together, which brought me to the conclusion that the only way to fix this issue was through suicide.
A year after my accident, during the summer of 2016, I attempted suicide with no avail. Then, to make matters even worse, my grandfather passed away. So, I was back to square one, chasing my pain medication addiction, only this time I overdosed at my son’s football game, embarrassing myself, my children, and my family. My wife had had enough and told me that she was going to leave if I didn't get help. I didn't know where to turn.
I ended up going to an addictions programme at a church down the road from my house. When I walked through the door of the church, I was greeted by a man who shook my hand. He paused as he held and looked directly into my bloodshot eyes and said, "Brother, I love you." I was shocked. I couldn’t remember the last time that somebody looked at me with love and compassion and not just pity or despair.
The preacher preached a message about knowing Jesus. Something about his presentation brought me to tears, and I cried almost the whole time that I sat there listening to him speak. He explained that Jesus desires for us to be fulfilled, happy, and healthy. But when we look in all the wrong places, we will soon find that if we try and face Satan alone, we will lose. Satan is bigger, stronger, wiser, and has a battle plan against our lives. It is only when we give Jesus Christ permission to completely take over and rearrange our hearts that peace will replace agony, joy will replace hurt, and love will replace hate.
When Jesus was on the boat in the middle of the sea with His disciples, a storm hit that almost sank the boat. The disciples were deeply worried because Jesus was asleep, and they couldn’t understand how He could care so little. In their panic, they woke Him. Still sleepy eyed, Jesus calmly stands up and says three simple words: "Peace be still."
The preacher then said, "It is not the length of your prayer nor how many big words you know; it is based on your connection with God." At that point, I lowered my head and raised my hands in prayer, realising that I had spent my whole life chasing stories of God, rather than chasing God himself.
All through my life’s problems, poor choices and stupid decisions, God still loved me enough, to not only welcome me home with open arms, but to practically chase me down and tackle me in the process. He is a God of hope and a God of restoration.
Through the love and devotion of other Christians who have reached out and given me the strength to stand on my own, I am now proud to say I have been cut free from my past. Even when I still didn’t have the strength to stand on my own, they would keep on holding me. Eventually, with the teaching of the word of God, which has now planted deep roots in my life, I am finally able to stand on my own, knowing fully who I am in Christ Jesus.
Genesis 1:26 states that we were made in God’s image and according to his likeness. Don't think or say things about yourself that God would not say. I'm so eternally grateful not just to God but to all the men and women he has placed along the way, who have loved me and who have injected life back into my heart. If God can take a washed up, used to be preacher who was changed by addiction and bring him back, not only into the ministry but into the kingdom of God, there is most definitely hope for you and whatever situation you are in.
Brothers and sisters, wherever you are and whatever you face in the life you are living right now, I want you to know that you are loved and you have hope in Christ Jesus.