Ancient Chinese Proverb: When you fall into a pit you either die or get out
That was the question Jesus asked the man at the pool, "Do you want to get well?" In real every day life, despite all of the therapy, meetings, spiritual faith, etc. the question remains-Do we want to live or die? Do we want to get well?
You may think that pretty severe, but think of this, in 2007 roughly 35,000 people took their own lives. But in 2014, millions of people are gradually killing themselves through their addictions to food, drugs, alcohol or sexual promiscuity. May not be immediate, but it essentially is the same thing. For many reasons including major depression, it seems people have lost hope that they can get out of the pit they have fallen into.
In our series You'll Get Through This, Max Lucado points to the story of Joseph as an example of how hope can bring us through any situation even if it looks hopeless. He didn't have a choice in many of the situations he found himself in, but in the beginning of his story, Joesph's arrogance and pride led to his initial downfall into a pit. Once we start the downward slide, it becomes very hard to stop it even if it seems very unfair.
But the question always is do we want to live or let die? Do we want to continue to self destruct when there is but one life to live and we are spending it trying to die? Think of that for a moment. The man at the pool spent over 30 years waiting for someone to help him because he was paralyzed. We, on the other hand, are only paralyzed by our fear, insecurities, penchant for bad choices and thoughts that we will never be any better than we are in our pit today.
Think again my friend. When you decide you want to get well, the Lord is extending his mighty hand to lift you out of that dark pit, to bring you out into the light that never stops shining. Maybe a few clouds appear, but hand in hand in a walk with almighty God, we can conquer any addiction, problem or enemy that comes before us. The choice is simple, life or death.
Riding down the road a few days ago, I looked up at the sky, thinking of my six decades on earth, all the ups and downs, good and bad, and I thought it really didn't get good until I found hope. I put my hope in the Lord, and he has never let me down, only my choices have taken me out of the light and into the shade.
When I was in that pit of destruction, he never gave upon me, so why should you or I ever give up on ourselves?
Glenn is an ex-Marine Viet Nam vet who is also a recovering alcoholic, clean and sober for 30 years. He has been involved in start up and ongoing recovery ministry at North Atlanta Church and Campus for the last two decades. He has a passion for outreach and to spread the message that the answer to lasting and fulfilling recovery from addiction is in a relationship with Jesus Christ. He and the ATB team are available to assist in your questions or needs on an individual basis and will do so maintaining complete confidentiality. You may e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.