It was dark and roughly two in the morning; while it seemed everyone else in the world was sound asleep, my friend was about to face the worst night of his life. Time seemed infinite as nausea and pain endlessly cascaded around him. He lay helpless in the face of the apathetic dark until morning.
Years of substance abuse and neglect of his health had come to a head; his body rejecting all the poison that had built up over the years. He was detoxing, but without help. A high fever, constant sweats, vomiting and the shakes: all perks of your body letting you know it’s had enough. In his own words, “I felt like I was dying. It was really bad.”
He finally recognized that help was necessary in order to turn his life around. In order for that to happen, the decision was made that he should enter rehab. The only thing about rehab is that sometimes they are full and you may be put on a waiting list until space opens up. He was told it would be a minimum of two weeks before there would be a possible opening. So he had to go it alone.
Lying sleepless, anxious, and in discomfort from detoxing back in his parent›s house, he wasn’t alone. True, there is no way one could suffer the pain with him, but there were people to help. But he needed more; he needed God. He needed God to be real and he needed Him now.
“He needed God. He needed God to be real and he needed Him now.”
Growing up a Christian he always had a relationship with God, but in his own words he described it as “…a bit top layer, kind of shallow at times.” He needed more than information, pamphlets, bulletins, bible study, and a good worship service. He needed God to intervene and reveal a presence and a power not yet known in my friend’s life. So on this motionless night, he cried out to God.
“If You are real, You need to show up now!”
As I reflect on my friend’s story I can’t help but think about Jacob. The scripture in Genesis comes to mind: “And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day” (Gen. 32:24 KJV).
We wrestle with God all the time, whether through spiritual strife or even questioning His existence. The argument of Christ being the Messiah will be with us until the end of days. New evidence will come every year disproving God or that Jesus is the Messiah. Then, a year later, more evidence will support the idea He is the Messiah. Science, theology, archeology, cosmology, all will be vying to prove their case. All useless when in the vacant still of the night, when we need an answer to endure the enmity of our troubled lives.
My friend got his answer, I am happy to report.
The very next day, a counselor called with the good news of a sudden opening by the end of the week. Now, having gone through rehab and putting his life back together, my friend and fellow brother in Christ, Alex Grimaud, is working to help others into recovery. He now leads the organization Elevate My Recovery (elevatemyrecovery.com) and he is using his struggles to lift others who need help.
You can ask others if they think God and Jesus are real, but if you ask Alex he will gladly answer, “Yes!”
*If you or someone you know is suffering from addiction, BelPres can offer help through inner healing prayer. Other support groups in our community can help you take that next step.