I never used drugs or drank. I often think about what kept me from going down that path that so many take to stop their pain. I certainly had all the emotional qualifications to become an addict. I don’t believe that anyone wakes up one day and says, “You know what I think I’ll do with my life? I think I’ll get addicted to drugs, lose all my friends and family, break hearts—including my own—lose my health, break laws, get arrested and possibly one day be found in an ally dying from an overdose.”
Where does it start? Usually, something triggers the need to soothe a hurt. An emotional pain or even physical pain needs to STOP. The problem with dealing with any pain or hurt in that way brings on a deadly probem that soon wraps its tentacles around a person’s life and they end up with a hurt that owns them—helpless to the point of death.
Like me, you might say but I never went that far but I still reached for something to stop the pain.
Sometimes a person is bored and just looking for a ‘fun time’ the night or day, it begins. It’s like going to a carnival that promises a rush beyond normal life, excitement full of lights and cotton candy. Nothing destructive or painful sends them off on this path. They would say that it wasn’t some deep emotional scar they wanted to get free of that brought them down to the place they find themselves. Whether triggered by a curious or sad longing that sends us seeking the quick fix both can take us to a place we wish we'd never gone.
If we live long enough we all have something come into our lives that could open us up to one or the other reason to look for something outside of ourselves for momentary comfort. So many different things drive us.
Is there any other choice? Is there anything that can stop the hurt, help me with things I can’t do and even offer me more contentment than I’m experiencing?
But you probably don’t want to hear what it is. Neither did I. I’m glad, though, that the Lord kept me long enough to listen to what He had to say in the beginning of my walk with Him. If you will allow me a little of your time I have something I think you might find interesting and hopefully, useful.
I knew nothing. All I knew was that there was a GOD. I knew nothing of Jesus or the Holy Spirit. In a way, I was fortunate because I had no religious doctrine that the Lord had to undo. I started with a blank page.
Oh, my, there were so many things I didn’t know back then. I had so much to learn. I started reading a Living Bible that one of my customers gave me as a gift. She had no reason to do this. She just brought it to me one day and said that she thought I would like it seeing that I had just become a Christian. That moment was one of the most valuable pieces of knowing God I’d ever have handed to me. Not just that Bible itself, but how He would begin giving me exactly what’s needed through so many sources that I would never dream possible. She was the first of many the Lord would use in my life.
You want to know what hit me in an even greater way that day? God was talking to someone about ME! He spoke MY name to this woman and impressed on her to buy me that Bible.
I devoured that book! I still have it and it’s tattered and torn. I read it as if my life depended on it and—it did. I read the Word like a starving person. Soon I’d read so much that I was stuffed!
I’d read how the Lord taught in parables and I guess even back then with my creative writing mind I could see, taste and feel in those parables what the people were going through.
Then something happened.
The first time I realized that I had come into the world with something that was all mine and no one had told me about for the first 22 years of being alive was when the Lord told me about my—God Given Square.
This is how I started to learn, by the Lord giving me my very own personal parable. Let me share some of my early walk with you.
My God-Given Square, parable
A man knocks on my door one day and he says that he has the deed to a piece of property that belongs to me. I’ve never known about this property or who would have given it to me. But he’s persistent so I agree to go look at it. We pull up to this property and get out to take a look. While he fumbles in his briefcase for the deed, I’m left staring at this large piece of property—puzzled.
It's covered with piles of black garbage bags, rusting discarded items, littered trash, piles of fallen limbs, and some things I can’t recognize for the flies buzzing around them.
Finding the deed, he smiles, hands it to me, wishes me good luck and disappears. I’m now left alone standing by this property, my mouth hanging open and at a total loss. Who gave me this property and who did all this? Furthermore, what in the world am I going to do with it now?
I spent a few days seeing this plot of land in my mind and wondering why.
Quietly, one day the Lord stood beside me surveying this property with his hands clasped behind his back—smiling.
I thought, “What is he smiling about?”
I certainly didn’t see anything to smile about—so of course, I had to ask.
“Lord, what is all this? I thought I’d been given something good. This is a mess.”
My second piece of learning was that the Lord always backed up what He said to me with the Word. Unbeknownst to me, while I was devouring the Bible that I’d been given, all that Word was being laid up for me so the Holy Spirit could bring it back to my remembrance as needed. Some I didn’t even remember reading but it had been deposited IN me while I read.
To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified.
I was dumbstruck. Hearing the Word with so much promise while staring at a mess that somehow represented my life was incomprehensible. There was no way those Words were being spoken about THIS property.
Little did I know right then that it would become true.
Within all those bags were Beauty, Joy, Praise, and
Righteousness prepared for me so that MY life might give God Glory!
To be continued.