I introduced a new song today in our recovery center service, a title “Whoa!” and although I’ve never heard the song before last week, the words resonated with me. They begin with “I see past my now, I know it will get better, it’s working out someone. I see, past the pain, for everything I’ve lost, I’m surely gonna gain.”
Thus, during our worship the sense of God’s spirit was evident by the singing, the hands lifted in prayer, by the tears, and the attention given to the music, and to the lyrics of our hour of worship. Which is before I teach…
I mingled to hug everyone in service, making my way through the purple clothed girls. At one table, I spoke with a mom, a youngster herself, at least to me. She prayed for the opportunity to see her children, to be in their lives, to move into a role she longed for, to be another to them.
Her new accountability friend placed her hand on my shoulder, “Ms. Pam, can you pray for me? I need to know God is with me, that I can get better. That I will trust Him.”
“Yes, I will pray with you.” I spent a few minutes asking her for some details of her struggle before taking her needs to the Savior. She told me, “I quit what I start. I sabotage myself. I think I’m unworthy, that I will fail.”
I shared with her how in my early days, like in my twenties, getting job after job, persevering, and facing struggles; that I would quit if things got hard. I gave up at every turn. I ran away. I hid from the struggles. I didn’t want to fight through the hurt or the hard times. I would cave, and run.
Her tears fell like a leaky faucet and she wiped the water from her cheeks. “All of this sounds like me. I have wanted to quit. I keep worrying. I’m scared.”
When I meet girls who are in recovery, who struggle with their walk, the battle is real, the fear does rise up, and the early steps of faith need reminding and encouraging. This is when I feel such a responsibility to plant scripture inside their hearts and send them to their bibles for wisdom and for strength.
We hung out in Colossians 1: 9-10 with these words from Paul, “And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to Him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.
I also challenged them by asking if the person I see on Sunday morning is the person who is living honorable in the hallways of the recovery center. Or in the bedroom like pods. In other words, who are they in their rehab classes or while doing chores, or in free time at the center? How would anyone know if they were a Christian?
No sooner than I brought this up, nods abounded, and tears erupted from the eyes of many in the room. It was like I tapped into a part of their walk, and of course mine too, that if we are Christians, if we are saved, if we are living in obedience to the Lord, then our life should emulate and resemble the Jesus we say we serve and adore.
That was my prayer for the girls today, that they would be strengthened with the power of Christ, that they would endure with patience, giving thanks to God for His qualifying them to share in the inheritance of the saints in light.
Yes, God delivers us from the domain of darkness and transfers us to the kingdom of his beloved Son. For we have redemption and forgiveness in Christ.
If you’re reading this, and you struggle to press on, may you fall to your knees and pray for the Lord to transform you into His image, to deliver you from fear, and that you will stand firm with Him during this season.
For during the storm, during the struggle, during the times when darkness seems to swallow us; this is when we must endure and remind ourselves that Christ is strengthening us to bear fruit during the pain.
In rehab the chisel of correction abounds, but oh, the mercies of Christ are new each day. And there’s power in the name of Jesus and salvation is at hand to break the chain of sin from lives!
May my girls see past the pain … and see the beauty of Christ instead.