When it Rains it Pours! You won’t believe this horror story actually happened to us!

Crazy

 

 

One day last month I came home from work to find my wife standing in the living room wearing one of those looks on her face that indicated something serious had happened.

“What’s up?” I asked.

“I have something to show you,” she began, “And I’m not sure but I think it is kind of a big deal.”

She led me to the bed room where the dresser had been pulled away from the wall to reveal mold down by the floor board. She was right.  It was a big deal.  We wouldn’t know for several weeks how big of deal it was.

My first order of business was to find out where the water was coming from that caused the mold. After cutting into the wall I quickly discovered that the faucet on the bathtub, just on the other side of the bedroom wall, was leaking behind the wall.  This would explain why it smelled a little musty in the bathroom for the past several days.  I hadn’t given this much thought, and my wife thought that the towels were the cause of the odor.

Having discovered the problem I shut off the water and went to the hardware store to purchase a new faucet. They were out of the particular faucet I needed so I had to wait until the following day so I could pick one up at a different hardware store.  After installing the new faucet I went under the house to inspect the floor from underneath and discovered that the bathtub drain trap, sometimes called a P Trap, was also leaking.  After another trip to the hardware store and a few minutes in the crawlspace the leak was fixed.

Now it was time to attack the mold. Having opened up the wall in the bedroom to get to the plumbing behind the tub had revealed much more mold than we had previously anticipated.  The smell was horrible!  The odor in the bedroom was so bad my wife and I slept out in the living room for several days.

I cut out the drywall in the bedroom and bathroom that was obviously moldy and had sprayed mold killer on every surface I could find. To go the extra mile I had even purchased a, “Mold Bomb,” and gone under the house to bomb the area underneath the tub through the hole in the floor.  Surly this was the end of this nightmare story.

Surly, it was not. After several days the musty smell continued.  I then had to take much more drastic measures.  On one side of this bathroom is our bedroom.  On the other side of the bathroom is the kitchen.  In fact the bath tub is directly behind one of our kitchen cabinets.  In order to get to the back wall I had to partially take apart our kitchen cabinet.  I then squeezed my not so fit body into the cabinet to take out the back wall of the cabinet and cut out the drywall in order to inspect for mold under the tub on the kitchen side.  I removed a large portion of drywall that was infected with mold.  At this point it really appeared as though the mold was gone.

It was not. The smell continued.  I broke into the wall on the bedroom side once more.  This time  I cut out a piece of the vinyl flooring and discovered it was covered in mold.  It was at this time I realized the entire tub and shower surround would have to be taken out, the mold completely eradicated, and a new shower put in its place.

At this point we called in the professionals. I don’t mind giving a plug to AdvantaClean, in Michigan City Indiana because they were AMAZING!

The story is not over. As it stands we are in the middle of mold remediation.  After that I will install a new tub and shower surround.  Perhaps then things can go back to normal.  Our allergies have been a mess, our sleep has been disrupted, and our bathroom is unusable.  On top of it all we noticed a gas leak in the kitchen over the weekend and are having a heating and air company come out today to try and find the leak!

What does all of this have to do with addiction and recovery? In the Bible James famously wrote, “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing,” (James 1:2-4 ESV).

We are not to count it all joy when we have trials because the trials are great fun. We are to count it all joy because it is a humble reminder that God is faithful.  We count it all joy because the test strengthens our resolve.  We see that we can bend under the pressure of life without breaking.  Here we learn perseverance.  God got us through the trials before and He will see us through this one as well.  This kind of perseverance leads to spiritual maturity.

In the past when trials came our way we would turn to our addictions, compulsive behaviors, and or sin habits in an effort to sooth the pain. Now in the power of Christ in us (Phil. 4:13, Phil. 2:13) we persevere through the trials with joy knowing God is strengthening us so nothing  that comes our way will defeat, overcome, or derail us.  This past month has been physically, emotionally, and financially tough.  But one thing I do as the Apostle Paul wrote, “forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead,  I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”  Press on!

Guilt, Shame, and Addiction

 

 

 

 

 

In his spiritual fervor the Apostle Peter spoke these words and I believe he meant them with all of his heart, “Though they all fall away because of you, I will never fall away.” Jesus had just told his disciples, ““You will all fall away because of me this night. For it is written, ‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’”  This must have sounded like pure nonsense.  Peter who had faithfully followed Jesus for three years, Peter who boldly confessed, “Lord, to whom shall we go, You have the words of eternal life,” Peter who loved and passionately served Jesus would surly never betray Him.  Yet Jesus told him, “Truly, I tell you, this very night, before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times.” Once again Peter restated his pledge to the Lord saying, “Even if I must die with you, I will not deny you!” Then the unthinkable happened.  You can blame a lapse in judgment or you can blame the circumstances but for whatever reason, it happened.  Peter denied Christ.

Here was a man who was absolutely dedicated to his values and had professed his love and commitment to them yet when it mattered the most he failed. Sound familiar?  You and I claim we value our families, work, and ourselves yet sometimes when it matters the most we fail.  Then we are often left with that horrible feeling of guilt and shame.

So much could be said here about guilt and shame, how they can lead us to, and keep us in our addiction. What I want to focus on is the truth of God’s amazing mercy, grace, and forgiveness.

You and I have done things worthy of hell itself.

John taught us, “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” (1 Jn. 1:8). The Apostle Paul said, “For the wages of sin is death.”  Isaiah wrote, “We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment. We all fade like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.” (Isaiah 64:6). These verses are not just for those of us who have struggled with addiction.  It is not just for those of us who have committed major sin.  Isaiah said, “WE HAVE ALL…”  The Hebrew word translated, “All,” in this verse is used in the Bible to describe, “All the earth.”  All means all of us.

On the other hand God’s perfect grace, mercy, and forgiveness is also available to us ALL!

 

Isaiah prophesied about the ministry of the Messiah saying in Isaiah 53:5-6, “But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.”  Jesus didn’t just take the sins of those who tell white lies.  He didn’t just bear the sins of those who occasionally get angry.  He didn’t just die of the cross for those who messed up one time and then totally turned their lives around forever.  Christ died for ALL!  He took the punishment for ALL our sin.  Big or small, one time sins and repeat offenders, He paid it all!

Have you ever wondered why Jesus had to raise from the dead? The Apostle Paul wrote in Romans 6:4, “We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.” Jesus rose from the grave to prove victory over sin and death.  He rose from the grave as a symbol to us.  For just as Christ rose from the dead we too can walk in new life.  Jesus rose to a new life.  Now it is our turn.

You are forgiven! The Psalmist wrote, “As far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us.” The author of Hebrews wrote, “For I will be merciful toward their iniquities,     and I will remember their sins no more.” You are forgiven.  You!  Forgiveness extends to the darkest sin.  Forgiveness is from the least to the greatest sin.  If you have confessed and turned from your sin, if you have turned to the living God in repentance, your sin is forgiven.

You might remember your sin and continue to beat yourself up for your past mistakes. Others might remember your sin and judge you by you past mistakes.  But God, rich in mercy, and abounding in love, has forgiven your sin today.

You are Holy! The Apostle Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians chapter 6 starting in verse nine, “Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.  And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.”  God sees you as holy because He made you holy.  Yes, you have done some terrible, sinful things.  But you were washed, made clean.  You were sanctified, set apart in God’s eyes, made holy.  You were justified, legally declared not guilty.  No matter the sin you were guilty of, God washed you in the blood of Jesus.  You are clean.  You are holy!

You might not see yourself as holy. Satan, his demons, and other people might not see you as holy and may condemn you as a sinner and unholy but, in truth you are holy!

You are NEW! 2 Cor. 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.  I love this verse!  No matter who you are, no matter where you have been, no matter how far you have run from the Lord or the degree of your sin, in Christ you are NEW!

You might not feel new, others might not see you as new, but you are NEW!

Let’s begin today walking in the truth of who we are Forgiven, Holy, and New!  Guilt and shame can hold you down and keep you in bondage.  When you are negative, critical, and judgmental toward yourself, or when others act that way toward you because of what you have done you will have a tendency to live in guilt and shame.  There is nothing wrong and everything right with learning from your past mistakes.  However, if you have confessed your sin to God, asked His forgiveness, and have turned from the sin and turned to the living God then you are forgiven.  You are holy.  You are new.  Let us make a practice of living in this newness of life in Christ, free from the bondage of guilt and shame.