by Chad Dinkel
Imagine being in a dark, dangerous place, so dark that you can’t see a way out. A series of events caused you to end up here, and now you feel completely helpless. For the longest time you just keep moving around trying to get out. You can’t seem to find a way out and it’s getting progressively more dangerous.
That’s how so many hurting people spend their lives—those battling addiction, veterans struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder or with civilian life re-entry, women caught in human trafficking or abusive relationships, and other circumstances beyond our ability to comprehend.
For those in this dark place it seems hopeless, but there is hope. It takes those of us not in that dark place to be a guide toward the light.
“Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they keep watch over your souls as those who will give an account, so that they can do this with joy and not with grief, for that would be unprofitable for you,” Hebrews 13:17 (HCSB).
I’ve spent years trying to help lead people out of the dark; some make it out and some don’t. One thing that I’ve learned is that the way out isn’t as far off as it may seem. We are all just a few good decisions from freedom, just like we are all just a few bad decisions from the dark.
In that dark dangerous place, you feel completely hopeless—what has my life come to? Then, along comes someone who is healthy, happy and whole. They are far from perfect, but they know the way out. You have two choices: take their hand and trust and submit to letting them guide you, or fight them and make it impossible for them to help you. One leads to freedom, the other ensures your remain in the pain of darkness.
If you’re in that dark place—making destructive decisions, hurting yourself and the people who love you—make the right decision today.
Start with a simple declaration to Jesus:
“Lord I need you in my life. Direct me to the people who will guide me in a direction that leads to light and freedom.”
Find a bible-believing, supportive church
You can’t do this alone. Your commitment to Jesus is the top priority, but life-giving strong believers will be the support you need to fight the challenges you face. Once you find a life-giving church, get there early and stay late … get involved!
Join a support group
This may be at your home church or through another church or organization. These groups exist and work. This is another step toward surrounding yourself with people who love and care about you too much to let you fail. Even if you mess up … KEEP GOING!
You are worth fighting for; you are valuable, and God doesn’t want you living in the dark. As long and you have breath in your lungs, you have hope. He wants you to have freedom, restoration and a life filled with purpose.
As leaders, we must care for the hurting and forgotten. Everyone has something they can contribute to this world and it is all mapped out in a plan God has for each living being. Even those in their darkest moment have God’s perfect plan waiting for them on the other side.