The slippery road of drugs and alcohol abuse pulls people into a deep pit which becomes difficult to escape. A friend of mine recently shared to me his journey down this road and what drastically changed his life, allowing him to break free from addiction and giving a lasting hope.
Frequently moving and having to make new friends constantly, he fell into bad company when he made friends with a neighbour who introduced him to smoking and alcohol in grade 7. Getting drunk and smoking in empty houses around his neighbourhood, his habits escalated by high school with drug use as he tried to live the high life, fully immersing himself in the influences around him.
Prideful and trying to do everything on his own, he ignored his family’s concerns for him and continually rebelled against them. Though he grew up in a Christian home, he merely defined Christianity as outward works of religious activity: being good, going to church, saying your prayers, reading your bible, etc.
I had a very deep emptiness inside, I was craving to be filled but I was too scared to turn to God. I tried to fill that void with worldly pleasures that only satisfied temporarily and left me empty and craving more. I got worse and worse in my drug use, school, and in my rebellion against God and my parents. I hated my dad and really had a bad relationships with people.
His immediate family and in particular his mother and grandmother constantly and openly prayed for him even by his bedside. They earnestly asked and received prayers from Christian friends and family for his sake. It wasn’t until he got kicked out of school for drug trafficking and was at risk of being expelled, that he began to reflect on the destructiveness of his life.
The night that I came home after getting kicked out of school and fighting with myself, my mom came in the room crying. She sat beside me just crying and grabbed me and started praying loudly from deep within her soul.
People tend to forget that the actions we do affect those around us and his actions were hurting his family, friends, himself and God. Touched by the tears of his mother, the Holy Spirit moved his heart to finally start to look closely at God beyond what he previously knew. Beyond empty actions, beyond self-pride and reliance, beyond everything this world had to offer. Hitting rock-bottom was what it took for God to get his attention. Praying with his mother as she cried for Christ to save him, it was then that he met Jesus.
…right there I met God in a real way when I was at my lowest point. I could literally feel God’s love all over and His presence.
The void he couldn’t fill with anything in this world had finally been filled by the only person who could, Jesus Christ. He willingly went to rehabilitation for his substance abuse and in the years ahead, went through a lot of growth and refinement; losing many relationships and his old reputation. He has never looked back knowing he has gained so much more with a new identity in Christ as he enjoys what it truly means to be a Christian, which is having a loving, life-transforming relationship with Jesus. God gave him the power to break free from addiction and move forward to a life that had meaning, peace and joy.
His testimony is not only an example of the fact that God’s power and love is beyond anything in this world no matter how far into the pit we slide, but also a strong account to believers that reliance and prayer to Christ is neither weak, unproductive or useless. It took a lot of faith and strength from the Lord for his mother and grandmother to put full dependency on Christ through constant prayer instead of resorting to immediate humanly actions and wisdom to try and solve the problem which, tends to be the natural reaction for us as humans. God reveals his wisdom for situations through His word and through His Holy Spirit, if we were only willing and silent to hear His still small voice. He’s waiting for us to truly rely on Him for everything, acknowledging His work in all things and allowing Him to direct us through His wisdom rather than our own.
May my friend’s testimony be an encouragement for everyone who is struggling with either a similar situation or one involving other traps of the world that may ensnare a person’s life. The void which cannot be filled by worldly things, the circumstances that seem to be impossible to overcome, all these things can be answered in Christ. He loves us enough to die for us, how much more does it pain Him to see us hurt ourselves and others? In our weakest points, God’s strength and love is perfectly displayed and we can only see it if we opened and set our eyes on Him.