January 10, 2021
In my distress, I called to the LORD, and he answered me.
(Psalm 120:1 ESV)
We all go through dark moments in our lives, but know that God is always there to get us through. He doesn’t always lift us out as we would wish. Maybe at some point, He will, but I think sometimes there are things to be learned in those dark moments about ourselves and about God. Sometimes we go through so that God’s salvation can be made known. When I recount my battles with depression and my return to alcohol, I can’t help but give God praise for His constant compassion and mercy towards my life and family. I went through hell. I drank daily for two years straight.
My wife and daughters watched as they saw the man they had always known to be actively involved in ministry become a different person. I remember wanting so bad to give up but knew I had to fight because life wasn’t just about me. My Son was an infant, and my family needed their father. Not a drunk. Not someone battling mental disorder and depression. They needed their father; My wife needed her husband. They needed me sober and in my right mind. I would desperately pray to God and ask for help. He had delivered me before, and I needed His help again. I remember so many times, my children’s faces and my wife would come up before me in my mind. I would see them over and over again, looking at me, and I would pray to God. “Please, Lord, heal me and set me free so I can be a father to my children and a good husband to my wife. If you don’t deliver me, God, I don’t have a chance! You are my only hope!” God answered my prayer. God healed me and set me free, and when I encountered the Lord the way that I did, I have never battled depression again. I stopped drowning myself in alcohol, and I found peace with myself. I have never been the same since, and I have never been freer than I am today since that moment. God is amazing. His love and power are so tangible, and His forgiveness redemptive. His mercy is undisputable, and His compassion undeniable.
There was a time when the children of Israel were in the desert, and in their rebellion against God, poisonous vipers were striking them down. Moses was commanded by God to hold up a bronze serpent on a staff, and all those who looked to it would be healed, which is where we get our medical staff symbol today. ( Num 21:8-9 ) My family was my bronze serpent. They are what I constantly looked to in order to be healed because they kept me crying out to God. What Jesus accomplished at the cross was ultimately my deliverance, but my reason to live kept me praying. Sometimes we have to find our reason. We have to find our reason and lift it up in front of us and not quit. Quitting is easy and sometimes living is hard, but the reward of coming through is far greater than we could ever imagine.
We all make mistakes, we all go through difficulties, but God will never quit on us, and we shouldn’t either. Find your reason and pray.