Tonight at the jail was our chance to speak to those in the S.A.P. program. S.A.P. stands for Substance Abuse Program so obviously all of the guys we saw tonight are battling addiction problems of some type.
While I believe all of us, even those not deemed addicts, have something in our lives we have had to battle. This was my kind of group. While we did have a few laughs they all seemed to really be listening and wanting help. That is the perfect combination isn’t it? I mean there are plenty of folks walking around us everyday that are in need but simply don’t want help…yet.
Out of around 20 guys only four of them knew me. As many times as I’ve been at the jail I was sort of surprised by those numbers but at the same time I was glad. It’s always exciting to get to share Christ with new people and tell them how he has delivered me from drugs, reconciled my wife and me and keeps me everyday. I love telling people Jesus Christ is the answer to their pain, frustration, and bondage.
Seeing how those guys are involved in S.A.P. many of them have been involved in twelve step programs on the outside also. I told them Jesus Christ is the only real way to be set free. I said, “I’m not saying programs are bad; I’m just telling you my experience. A twelve step program may just be the way you come to Christ, but eventually you will have to come to him if you want to be free.”
I shared with them about how I was in a methadone program for about a year and a half. Of course they wanted me to attend a 12 step program as part of my recovery but my counselor said she would count church as a meeting. Looking back I can see how God was sort of lining things up in my life. I never thought a 12 step program was for me so the church option was great. Little did I know that I was going to be born again shortly thereafter. That’s what happened though and it’s been an adventure since.
I told them it isn’t that I haven’t had the opportunity to go back to drugs or alcohol but God has kept me. One time I sort of nonchalantly told a guy I had a headache. He reached in his shirt pocket and put a prescription pain pill in my hand. I looked at it and handed it right back telling him I don’t think this is going to help. There have been several times I have been around alcohol, but I know that never worked for me in the past so why would I want to go through that again? Once you have been set free why in the world would anyone want to take that awful trip again?
One of the guys said, “I went through the same methadone clinic you did but when I got off of it I went right back to doing drugs. What happened to you?” I told him I never relapsed, but I’ve heard that relapse is part of recovery. Most people do have at least one time when they use again but rather than just give up they get to start over again the next day. Even after receiving Christ we have plenty of opportunities to mess up but the great news is He’s there to pick you up and get you back on the path. Another one of the guys said, “I’ve heard methadone is harder to get off than heroin. If that’s true you must have had something working in your life.” I told him “Yes I did, and still do, it’s Jesus Christ. He is the only way. It takes a miracle everyday to live life in the Spirit.”
Usually I have some scriptures I want to share and I did quote quite a few tonight but mostly I just talked to them about how God transformed my life. Getting off of drugs isn’t a bunch of hard work it takes a supernatural empowerment. Jesus said, “Come to me, all you that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and you shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” I told them being yoked with Jesus Christ means we become one with him and that means we are in this together…it takes a miracle!
Written by Louie