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Hope in Despair
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Tom was overcome with despair. His orderly world was crashing in all around him. He had lost total control. He was spinning with thoughts running rampant through his mind. He was crying out for help inside, but didn’t know where to turn.

And who could he believe? He’d known something was wrong with his wife, Susan. Her behavior had been different. He hadn’t been able to put his finger on it, but she had definitely changed. She had been more secretive. She was gone for long periods of time and he wasn’t sure where she had gone. Her answers made sense, but didn’t make sense.

Tom had good friends coming to him suggesting that Susan was taking pills from them. Some said she had asked for something for headaches. Others said she had rummaged through their medicine cabinets at their homes. None of it made any sense.

When Tom confronted Susan she quickly made an explanation and laughed it off to misunderstanding or totally absurdity. But, something was wrong.

Then it happened. An early morning phone call. Susan was in jail. She had been caught taking narcotics from a medicine cabinet at an open house. All his fears had come true. Susan was caught in an addiction.

Now what was Tom to do? What next? He was paralyzed. What about the kids? What about their friends? What about her parents? What could he share and not share? Who could he turn to?

Touched by a friend

He reached out to God, but couldn’t feel the reach back. He needed flesh and blood to talk to. He decided to call Randy. Randy was a friend. He was a counselor. He was a believer. Randy came right over and helped Tom make each move that day. He helped him retrieve Susan’s car. He helped him talk with the police. He helped him calm down. He helped him see that this wasn’t the end of the world. In fact, it might just be the best thing that could happen. Getting the truth out in the open could lead to help. Keeping the addiction covered up would only lead to more problems.

Randy shared James’ instructions for healing: “Is any one of you in trouble? He should pray…And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective” (James 5:13, 15, 16).

Tom realized that just talking to Randy about the problem already made it better. Somehow getting the truth out took away its power to control. The despair wasn’t as bad. There was renewed hope that something could change.

They prayed…Randy and Tom. That day was Tom’s worst day and it was Tom’s first day of hope because the truth was setting him free.
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By Chad McComas. Copyright © 2015 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines. Scripture taken from the NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION ®.


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