It’s a Wonderful Life in Recovery

Christmas visits at the Recovery Center bring a flurry of activity. Girls are cooking. Girls are wearing aprons and serving. Girls are having visits from their families. And yet, and praise God for this, I still get to hold church for the ladies who are free to attend.
Our location may change. We may be in two adjoining classrooms. We may have to use the Bluetooth speaker I bring with my laptop for worship songs. We may be cold until the heat kicks in from the ducts blowing warm air into the rooms. We may be a little displaced and yes, some will come, have to leave early, and others may miss the service all together.
But for me, no distraction. No interruption. No coming. No going. No door opening. No door shutting, will keep me from sharing God’s Word for the service. Tears will fall. Songs will be sung. Lives will change at the hearing of the gospel.
Last Sunday, the Christmas holiday brought us to such a moment. One of my girls said, “I had a week filled with choices that I’ve asked God for forgiveness. I keep doing the wrong things, and pray I do something right. I need prayer to conquer my old ways.”
Another girl said, “I praise God for deliverance. I praise Him for our visits. I’ll see my dad, and it’s been eight months.”
A new girl in the back wept from the moment I hugged her. She wiped her tears, ducked her face when I looked at her and shook when praises were given, when prayers were sought, when songs were sung.
Making my way through the arms and legs of purple suits in the room, I reached for her, and she wept like a broken child. It was like her life shook with an ugly past, shook with questions, and she sobbed even though the other girls were singing in their hearts, “It’s the most wonderful time of the year.”
It actually was the most wonderful time. After all, Christ had brought the ladies to rehab, saved them from the choices, and they were now spending their holiday in recovery.
I shared the story of the man by the pool of water who had spent way too many years in hopes of being healed in that water, but no one ever put him inside the pool. Christ came along and asked him about this, and the man sort of complained that no one helped him into the pool.
I asked my girls this too, and challenged them to run to the Savior this Christmas. To seek Him. To trust Him. To obey Him. To serve Him.
And my prayer is they hear His call, “Do you want to be be well?”
I also pray they never complain that no one helped them because Christ redeems. He saves. He delivers. He is the way, the truth, and the life. And He brought them to the recovery center to gain tools, to gain a new walk, to find their way. May they discover the “wonderful life” with Christ and find complete joy, and healing for their soul, too. He came that we might have life!! And be saved!!

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