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In Genesis Chapters 37 through 50, we see the making of a Man...a man of influence...a man of significance. Joseph was a Man placed in one of the most powerful positions in  all of Egypt. God raised him up into a position of prominence in a foreign culture, hostile to his faith.

God has placed a similar calling on each one of us...Joseph finished his life well...ultimately using his gifts, talents, abilities and acquired experiences for the sake of saving his loved ones...God has gifted us with an opportunity to do the same...

But, much like Joseph, our character will be forged by adversity...adversity will either make us bitter or better, depending on our perspective...Quality of life is dependent upon attitude...The scriptures tell us that godliness with contentment is great gain...the secret to happiness is not getting what we want, but wanting what we already have...

What a great epiphany it is for each of us, when the light bulb goes on and we realize that we are in no way lacking and that God himself is forming our character for a significant role in which we impact people's lives for eternity.

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22
She Had Issues
May 22, 2014

Years ago, I knew this young lady…She had some painful problems…she had what seemed like, overwhelming obstacles to overcome in her life. She had been deeply wounded in her past. She hurt…and life for her was a living hell.

So, she went to a doctor. The doctor did what he thought was right and came up with a diagnosis, and slapped a label on her of “mental illness.” He wrote her a prescription for some very strong drugs. Now she was labeled and drugged, but she still hurt and life was still hell.

She was desperate… sought comfort…and found some in two sources. She began self-medicating with street drugs and found some companionship with a man. This man had also been labeled, drugged and was self-medicating. He became a crutch for her to deal with the day to day. Unfortunately, he was a broken crutch. Well at least, they could endure hell together.

At least for a while, these two sources dulled the symptoms of her pain, but the problem was still there, just below the surface of the dulled symptoms. The honeymoon period in her unhealthy relationship, ended. Her relationship with her boyfriend didn’t comfort her pain, it made it worse. Now, she had her problems and his problems. After a while, the highs from the street drugs weren’t dealing with the symptoms of the pain anymore.

Worse yet, the street drugs were reacting with the other drugs…depression, fear and paranoia intensified. Her drug usage opened up a door into the demonic realm. Now she was dealing with her pain and unwanted presences…demons… demons who had taken up residence in her…demons she knew by name …demons she conversed with…and at times…even allowed herself to be counseled by them. Her living hell became more hellish.

So, she came to me. She said she was tired of just dealing with things on the symptom level. She didn’t want to just medicate the pain. She wanted to get at the root of the problem. I told her that it would be hard, and initially, it would hurt horribly. If she was willing to surrender all her futile efforts to fix herself…If she was willing to step away from the commotion and confusion of her hellish life…take a step in faith and come to the great physician…Jesus…He would heal her. But it would be painful and it wouldn’t be pretty.

The great physician…the great surgeon… her problems… He would open her up and dig into all the deep and dark recesses of her heart and pull out her pain, bit by bit. It would be an uncomfortable process, but in the end, the pain would be gone and this physician would put a new label on her…child of God… healthy, happy, and whole.

So, there she was, at a crossroads. Which way would she choose? Would she continue on the broad path of futility and fear? Would she stay on the familiar path of her personal hell… attempting to be self-sufficient…trying to self-medicate her chronic pain?

Or would she be courageous and choose acute pain over chronic pain. Would she break away from the chaos, confusion and commotion and make a connection with Christ… a connection that would deliver her from this paralyzing pain and provide new promise and potential?

I pointed her in the direction of Jesus. Through the chaos and crowded clutter of her heart, she could just barely make him out. In all the muddled mess of her mind, He started to come into focus. Yes, there he was, she could see him. She just needed to be brave and break through and grab hold of Him. She needed to just not let the stuff that seemed like it was in the way, scare her and keep her from making a connection with the Savior.

She was at a crossroads. Fear or faith? Acute or Chronic? Hope or Hell? My way or His way? The wrestling match raged on…and in the end…instead of running to Jesus, she ran away from Him.

Filed under: Character, Foundations

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