I am told that an alcoholic, a person with an addiction, has to admit that he or she has a problem before they have any chance of overcoming it. Real rehabilitation starts with this simple acknowledgment, “I have a problem.”

How many times have you heard the addicted person say over and over again, that they don’t have a problem? They can handle it. They even claim the ability to ‘quit whenever they want to.”

Now if the truth be told, most times tragedy of some sort has to befall this person before their can turns into can’t and they end up begging for help.

There are times now when I think that coming to the Lord for many is eerily similar. People like me and maybe you too, are or have been sick from ignorance of the gospel and don’t realize, like the addiction, that this illness is killing us day by day.

We didn’t, or don’t, have the knowledge or faith required to diagnose our problem. Or, like the alcoholic, we don’t realize we have one.

We simply continue to engage in spiritually self-destructive behavior not recognizing that while ruining our own lives, we also take others along for the ride through our personal nightmare.

Ironically, after salvation, the same people will testify that indeed, they were, shall we say, sick?

Not until we are faced down in the dirt of life, are we then able to see the light and somehow recognize then, the road to spiritual rehab was there all the time. And just like that of the addict, this rehab road to spiritual health and wellness can be long and arduous; forever fulfilling and full or reward.

But following Christ is neither easy nor comfortable. This is indeed another version of the yellow brick road in Oz. My bible says that the cost of following Christ is an all or nothing proposition. Once an addict, always an addict. Once a Christian, always a Christian. Once saved, always saved.

Those who follow the Lord’s way do not necessarily have it easy. On the contrary, the Christian life can be very hard. Persecution from “haters” who refuse to accept you as a new Christian is the same as the person who offers an alcoholic a drink and can’t understand why the alcoholic says no.

One gets it. The other doesn’t. “Jesus replied, Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay His head.” Luke 9:58.

Our responsibility then is to first and foremost understand and admit we are helpless against our addiction, our illness. We are not in control. Submission, in this case, is our admission that God is in charge and not us. Our life belongs to Him. Now we can begin serious spiritual rehab.

Being faced down in the dirt can now be replaced with being faced down in prayer. There’s a big difference in perspective if you get my meaning.

I submit to you that once you understand the scope of this struggle and the lengths to which God will go to save you, then you have an excellent chance of claiming your redemption.

As long as we know that we are at the mercy of so many things that we have no control over, we will continue to find the answers and solutions we need, our medicine, in our very own clinic built and fortified by Christ Himself. Therein lays the light in all this darkness.

God loves us more than we can possibly comprehend; so much so He provided us with the prescription for our illness. However, it is still up to us to get that prescription filled. It starts with a trip to the Dr.’s office and our honest answer to His question, “Now what’s the problem?” If that answer is “I’m sick and I cannot save myself,” then you’re cured.

May God bless and keep you always.

(Photo: James A. Washington)

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