Over a number of years I’ve had the opportunity to observe a few successes, and more often than not, failures in the area of the Christian addiction ministry. Why some make it and others do not, I don’t know.  I’ll have to let God make that judgement. Going back over my own desperate search for truth and help and not really knowing where to find it, I can only imagine how much more confusing it is at this present time. 
      I can still remember as a child peering at a classic painting of Jesus praying on a rock amidst a raging sea.  I pondered the meaning of that work of art not knowing that it wouldn’t take too many years before I found myself in a raging sea crying out for God.  I also well remember driving past a lovely old stone Baptist Church in Portland, Maine which boasted a neon sign perched high above that said “JESUS NEVER FAILS’.  I found it rather unusual since it contradicted the staunchly traditional era of hats and white gloves.  Then again, the person who placed the sign there must have really believed that Jesus never fails.  Finally one evening I went to a service, and began my walk with God.  
     There exists today such a vast myriad of meetings and groups designed to help those with addictions.  I’ll have to say I feel especially bad for women with addiction problems; the frustration of finding a suitable rehab place whereas there are so many more for men; and the vulnerability of being “open and honest” in a mixed group where there are mostly men. 
      I understand the need for people to get off the streets and their too familiar surroundings in order to help break “the habit” and to get clean and sober.  But after going to the Detox to get dried out, and finishing up your stay at the re-hab, then what?
      I’ve cautiously observed those who have come back to church and to the meetings from those places, and thought “Oh, that’s good, I hope they keep coming.  I’m so glad to see them make it!”  Then they disappear, and before you know it, they’ve relapsed.  Most of them have been men, but some were women. What went wrong?  Oh, I wish to God that they had kept coming back!  We need to know our source.  ” All my springs are in thee” said the psalmist in Psalm 87:7.  Oh, the liberation of the soul under the preaching of the Word of God and the fellowship of the body of Christ!  I don’t say that in a legalistic kind of way, but that’s just the way it is.  I would that everyone could have a church like mine where there is something going on all the time centering around the Word of God, even an addiction ministry meeting.  I’m sure there is a church somewhere  waiting for someone just like you! We’re not designed to “go it alone”.  We need Christ and his church.  God is not a respecter of persons. I have found that to be true over these many years just like the sign said: “JESUS NEVER FAILS.”  

Sandy Lightsey