Whose Terms?

He twitched across the short lobby and shot me a grin.

I followed him into the counseling room and shut the door.

His hands shook and his knees knocked together as he tried unsuccessfully to hold my gaze.

"How high are you?" I began.

"Oh," he laughed and wiped a boney arm across his forehead. "No. I know how this looks, but I'm not high. No, I'm' always like this. Jis' nervous, I guess."

I lifted a brow and we took a seat.

He coughed. "I-I c-can see why you'd think that..."

"Are you clean?" I continued.

"Well, I'm gonna be honest with you, Ma'am. No, I-I did take a hit last night. Just one. Really small."

"Thank you for your honesty," I said. His continual jerking was making me tired.

I studied the blank page before me while he tried to fill out the intake sheet. I didn't need to write down my observations. I would remember this clearly when I typed up my session notes.

Meth addict. Heavy denial. Convinced he was fooling me and convinced he could have a beneficial counseling session while under the influence. He wanted what I had to offer, but he wanted it on his terms.

We spent a fruitless hour-and-a-half as I unsuccessfully urged him to get serious medical help. He shook his head patiently, as though he was speaking to a small, dim-witted child. "I can stop taking this any time. I just t-took a little to help with my depression."

"You are a man in shark-infested waters with a shark chewing off your leg. I am the Coast Guard. How smart is it to argue with the Coast Guard?"

He left with tears in his eyes. "I g-guess I hoped you could help me, tell me why I do this. Give me some tools. But I don't need no doctors, de-tox, or Celebrate Recovery. I know God can help me without all that."

I watched him stagger away, miss the door, and try to open the plate-glass window. My heart cried after him: Why won't you listen? I'd love to help you, but I can't like this.

We've all been like that meth addict at some point in our lives. We find ourselves in a pickle and cry out to God for help. He shows us His plan, His requirements for healing, the steps we must take to get back to sanity...and we balk.

"I want your help, God, but I want to do this my way."

It doesn't work like that. God watches us stagger away, miss the door, and try to open the plate glass window. And His heart breaks.

Satan convinces us we can hide our pet sins, our selfish choices, our willful goals from God and He won't care. After all, God is love so surely He will rush to help me when I call. Won't he?

And when He doesn't, we get angry. Pride calls the shots. Mankind has been trying to get to God on his own terms since the Garden and it has never worked. God offers all the hope, health, and healing you need. But only on His terms: drop the willful sin, humble yourself, stick to it, seek Him with all your heart.

It's easy to roll our eyes at the meth addict, but are you sitting there twitching and trying to convince God you're not as bad as He says you are? If you want help, it only comes His way.

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