This has been a difficult week.

My friend was released from Jail. I drove him to an intake interview with Jericho Road. Jericho Road is a Christian Residential Rehab in Ottawa. My friend was accepted and stayed about a day before he left. I’m disappointed, his family is beyond disappointed. They seem to have come to a place of numbing ‘dare not hope it hurts too much’.   I’ve been there myself and understand what living in that cold, empty and overcast place is like. I’m not sure where my friend is or what he is doing. But, I’m pretty sure he isn’t living a sober lifestyle.

Is he still my friend? Yes! Do I still care about him? Yes! Can I do anything for him right now? No! I can’t make him choose sobriety. I can’t make him think reasonably. I can’t make him do anything.

You see, my friend has lost his power of choice and thought to his addiction. He is caught up in the insanity of using. AA step talk describes it this way; ‘He’s powerless over his addiction and his life has become unmanageable.’ My friend realizes this. He’s done his step 1!

What’s holding him back? Maybe he hasn’t done steps 2 and 3? Has he come to believe only a power greater than himself can restore him to sanity and given his life over to that power or God as he understands Him. Or maybe he has? Prior to going to jail, he was in rehab before for over a year working the steps. Then he left, relapsed and got in trouble.

But if a guy suffers from the insanity of his addiction yet has moments of clarity enough to realize his life is out of control, he’s in trouble. And even goes to the step of giving his life over to a greater power, he’s still in a lot of trouble! Because the God of your understanding can’t be of much help if you’re insane because of the dope you crave. If you’re insane what good is your demented understanding? No disrespect to AA’s twelve steps – a lot of people find help through it – I’m just thinking things through.

The Bible tells us; “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” (Proverbs 3:5,6) This is a different from giving control over to a ‘god of our understanding’. If my friend had trusted in the Lord with all his heart and not relied on his own thinking he would still be in rehab today. I believe that!

So what does my friend need? Who can really help him now? He needs Grace! The kind of Grace that goes out and looks for lost people. The kind of Grace that forgives and lifts up. The kind of Grace that reaches out grabs a hold of a drowning man and does not let go!!!! There’s a name for that Grace – Jesus!   Without Jesus the Bible tells us in tough and rough terms that the gods of our own understanding will always lead us in circles; “Like a dog that returns to its vomit Is a fool who repeats his folly.” (Proverbs 26:11)

Jesus’ mission was all about finding and saving guys like my friend; “. . . the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.” (Luke 19:10) What can I do for my friend? Pray and pray hard for Jesus’ Holy Spirit to convict him of his self-made disaster and walk back towards home and sanity like the prodigal son (Luke 15:11-32).

And I can be ready to help him if Jesus leads him my way!

Praise the Lord!