I have several clients now who have sought help. I admire them very much. It takes courage to figure out that one needs help and to be willing to seek it.
“Jeff” came to me. He had been working on some issues about healthy dating and relationships. However, over time he was becoming sad and depressed. He lives on the street. He is far from home where he has friends and relatives. Day by day, he seemed to seek deeper into despair. His despair looked like going back and forth between anger and sadness… intense action and inaction. One day he even talked about suicide with me. And then one day he disappeared.
I had become a little too attached to Jeff. His disappearing really worried me. I looked for him in person. I looked online for him. But in the end, I could only pray for him. More on Jeff later.
Another client, “Tom” uses a drug that creates chemical dependency. And he craves it regularly. However, he doesn’t want to live enslaved to the drug. “This is no way to live,” he says to me on an almost daily basis. I have given him the numbers to call to get assessed and into rehab. And I have prayed frequently with him for the cravings to ceased. Slowly he has come to the point of making the phone call. At first, it was just asking for the number day after day. Then it was calling but hanging up. Then it was leaving a message but no number. Finally, he made the call and talked to a person. I stood by him as he explained to the caring lady on the other end where he was and what he is doing. He now has an appointment for assessment and evaluation.
“I was afraid,” he said before when I asked why not make the call today. “I feel better… so much better,” he said after making the appointment. “I know, I know!” I said. “You have been working up to this moment for a while, now. I’m very proud of you for knowing what you need and asking for it. This is something that I would pray for everyone, to know what they need and to be willing to ask for it.” We prayed together in praise for what had happened and what will happen. We again asked for the craving to go away as well as for the help to break the chemical dependency.
Back to Jeff. I saw Jeff about three weeks later. He ha checked himself the very night of our last discussion into a mental health treatment center. He had advocated for himself and gotten the right medicines. He told me, “I’m so much better now. I just wasn’t able to think straight back then. Now maybe I can keep working on my life with a straight head.”
Both of these young street men have great courage. How many of us want to come face to face with the fact that we need help? We all do, of course. We need help from one another to make it through the day. We need help from our heavenly Father for provision and wisdom. And most importantly, we all need grace from Jesus to wash each of us clean from our sins. We all sin. Big sin, little sin. Visible sin, hidden sin. It all is the same in that it separates us from God. And only the grace provided by Jesus can bring us back to the Father. And we need the courage to realize this and to ask for it.
For some of us, that courage was probably not as much courage as Jeff or Tom needed to call out for help. However, for many, asking for the grace of Jesus is just as scary as what Jeff and Tom are doing. These people imagine that they have gone too far astray, done too many things, indulged in too many ugly actions to ever be taken back. If they only knew how unfit we all are without Jesus’ grace. If course, they are wrong. For these people who feel so far, I pray extraordinary courage to face Jesus and ask, “Please come to me now. Please extend your grace to me. I want to get to know you personally and see you moving in my life.” The courage to be dependent is something we all need.