“I’ve prayed and prayed and things are just getting worse! Why is God not answering?” At some point, we all seem to come face to face with this question. Why is God, as powerful as He is, not stepping in to save my loved one from addiction? Have I done something wrong? No. We all have a choice. Society will tell you that addiction is a disease. I am not sold on that, but either way, it starts with a choice and continues with a choice. Addiction grabs hold of your mind and your body, and seems to defy all choice. The craving to continue using is never ending, and the physical addiction causes intense withdrawal symptoms if you choose to stop. Its hard. ” Addiction is a disorder of the will, yet treatment for alcoholism and other addictions often comes with decidedly mixed messages about willpower and abstinence. (The Association for Psychological Science, 2011)” Although modern addiction theory often debates the concept of free will, trying to negate Christian beliefs and doctrines, addiction is still considered a problem of the will! I would agree that making the choice, or having the willpower to change is difficult. Difficult, but not impossible. God will wait until we make the choice to change. Yes, I believe He could come today and change everything instantly. But what would we learn from that? He wants us to grow and change so that we will not repeat the same mistakes. Since the garden of Eden, described in the book of Genesis, mankind has had a choice. We have free will to choose to know Him or to continue to walk on our own. We have free will to choose to accept help, or to continue living a life addicted to substances. His heart is for us to always choose life, but it is our choice. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. (2 Peter 3:9) When we pray for God to intervene in the life of another person, we can know two things: God loves them so much that He will never give up God wants them to choose to live He will keep fighting as long as it takes! Here’s the problem – sometimes people don’t respond. When God seems to not answer, it’s not because He is angry with you. It’s not because He doesn’t want to.Perhaps they are not ready. Maybe they need to come to that place where they are God for themselves. Keep asking.Keep praying and never give up. One day you or your loved one will come to the point of saying yes. Once we make the choice, then the real work begins. Recovery is a process of moving forward, and we all need support for that.Beyond Addiction, by Foote,Wilkins and Kosante, is an excellent resource for how to keep moving forward. Remember- Even when people say repeatedly that they don’t want to or simply can’t change, they do so all the first-ever in the face of long odds. Why? Because change becomes worth it to them. (p.8) Let’s pray that change becomes worth it so they choose to live.
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