In 2002 the walls around my cell came crashing down. Consumed by the disease of alcoholism and living a life full of sin I was brought to my knees. Completely defeated I had no where else to turn other than to a God I found very hard to believe in. After all He had never as far as I knew done anything for me.
A little over a decade later of living a sober life and giving my life to Jesus Christ I was to be challenged in a leadership role of a deacon and a ministry leader in a program called Celebrate Recovery. Two things this servant of God never saw coming.
As many characters in the Bible I may have wondered why He chose me because I certainly did not feel qualified. Yet God knew that He had picked the right person. He had been with me through the drama and chaos of a man’s life led by sin and held in the grips of the devil himself.
As your ministry leader in Celebrate Recovery at New Hope Christian Church I pray daily for the people who occupy our chairs every Sunday. I pray that those that feel hopelessly chained to a ball of some past hurt, present hang up or unshakable habit. I ask our Father that He send those folks to our CR and that they stay long enough to find out that they have been looking in all the wrong places for the one that breaks those chains.
That one and only true higher power Jesus Christ!
I sit back and watch people a lot of the time. I observe their actions and listen to their words. Sometimes what I see is pure humility and love, other times what I see and hear is that hurt, that pain and anger, depression and anxiety that cripples the spirit and puts up a wall between them and God.
I wonder sometimes what keeps them in that place. Is it Fear? Pride? Ego? Are you one of “those people” Maybe it is the fear that people around them will find them out or unfriend them if they knew the real person hiding behind that mask. I hate to be the one to burst that bubble but for the most part, “those people” have been praying that you find help and stop denying that pain, that hurt, that habit and that hang up.
Maybe some are thinking I don’t have a problem with drugs or alcohol, so I do not need CR. If that’s what you’re thinking, then maybe you do need CR. Only about 30% of all participants in CR have a drug or alcohol problem. That leaves the other 70% struggling with something else and believe me no one is exempt. We all are sinners just some deny it outright and others by omission. Did Jesus not say let he that is without sin cast the first stone?
We have seen people in this church struggle, marriages falling apart, affairs, sexual impurities, gossip, anxiety, grief, depression, suicide and these are just a few. I am sure if we could see in the light what Jesus sees in the dark no one could stand up and say, not I!
We study the word of God and have small groups that bring in all sorts of studies and videos and seminars to address some of these issues, yet these things still exist. Why? Some folks rely on the word of a therapist that charges a lot of money and rightfully so, some need special guidance, but not all.
Until Easter we will be talking about love. Loving Christ as He loves us, loving others. How can you or anyone do either if you can not love yourself? Maybe you should let us at CR love you until you can love yourself and others and maybe, just maybe you will find just how much Christ loves you too.
We meet every Tuesday from 6-8:45 PM. Here at New Hope Christian Church. Here you will find people that are recovering from all sorts of hurts, habits and hang-ups. Here you will find people that do not judge you for whatever sin your carrying. Here you will find a safe place to let go of that fear and denial, that invisible wall that is blocking you from having a right relationship with Jesus Christ and those around you.
How do I know this? Trust me, had you known me before I gave my life to Christ you would not have ever thought I would be the one that would be a ministry leader in a Christ centered 12 step recovery program dedicating my life to it and to our Lord. That I would ever be an elder at any church, yet here I am.
See you Tuesday….