I remember why I joined the Marines, especially when seeing this new wave of recruiting TV ads that show they are first to fight, running toward danger rather than away from it. For some reason it is in my DNA, loving every adrenaline charged moment of charging toward the battle.
In several moments of reminders during the past few weeks, that feeling has dominated my time. Knowing that in each step we take in this ATB ministry, we are right there in the middle of this battle to bring folks from addiction to the hope of salvation and recovery. It is a spiritual battle, one highly documented in scripture, and though the circumstances have been modernized from farmers and fishermen at risk, to a world of heroin, opiates and meth addicts trying to find their way out of darkness, the battle is the same.
It will never be pretty, never sanitized and always a dig into the foxholes of every day warfare. This modern day battle is made for those who want to roll up their sleeves and get to work. Jesus was often distraught that the disciples he trained became dependent upon him when they couldn't get things done in faith, and they turned to him for answers even after he had shown them the way. We certainly feel that way today as well, as this battle is cunning and baffling, requiring divine guidance at every dark and twisting turn.
The Front Line is filled with failures of being knocked down and getting right back up to fight again. Along the way it can get discouraging for support troops who have never experienced the phenomena of this addiction but, trust me, God knows the struggle, and the message is the same. You get knocked down, but you are never out because he has already won the battle for us.
Yes, the disappointment and emotional roller coaster of dealing with those of us who are so fraught with an addictive nature is dirty and hard, but if you study Jesus ministry, you will see that is exactly where he spent most of his time. Because of Him, that's exactly where I want to spend the rest of my time......
On The Front Line!
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.