Pain Management

I had a heartbreaking conversation this morning with a friend in Arkansas who is an alcoholic. I wish I could say recovering alcoholic, but that is not the case. I talked to her yesterday and she sounded great. She was upbeat and positive. We were cut off yesterday so I called her back today to check on her and she is really struggling. Through her tears she described how she was feeling and how incredibly painful it is to be going through these rough times. Her cries resonated with me and my heart breaks for her. I have shared before that I believe so much can be explained if we understand what’s behind the tragedies and triumphs of our lives. It sounds very simple, but it really helps me make sense of this thing called life.

One of the most powerful verses in the Bible explains it this way:
John 10:10 says “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”

God tells us that He wants us to have an abundant life.

The enemy wants to destroy us.

That puts things in such perspective for me! When our lives are truly blessed, it comes from God above! If something is tearing us down or causing us pain and defeat, the enemy is at work! His tricks are so clever. My friend is seeking love and comfort in a bottle. I have family and friends who have searched for escape in pills or needles. I, myself, have tried to find numbness in food. I don’t intend to trivialize the addiction of drugs and alcohol by comparing it to food, but isn’t the struggles the same? Isn’t it an attempt to avoid our painful reality? And ultimately, don’t we
usually reach the same end result of more pain and defeat?

As hard as it is to think this way, I believe that we can live more powerful if we could recognize the battle that is going on for our hearts. God loves us and wants us to have a victorious life. He will not leave us to drown in our sorrows. He is always there waiting for us to call upon Him. The enemy wants nothing more than to keep us down and he uses “tools” of many shapes and sizes to do it. That upsetting phone call you
just received…he’s behind it. That financial stress you’re under… he orchestrated that. That attack on your family… your marriage… your church… he’s just warming up. Oh, and that late night binge he helped you pull off…he revels in your defeat.

God, help us look to You, our Heavenly Father and find that abundant life You have for us! Not abundance in wealth and prosperity, but spiritual abundance by being empowered by the indwelling of Jesus Christ!

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