A while ago I had the unfortunate experience of having an abscess. For those that don’t know an abscess is a cavity filled with puss generally caused from bacterial infection. This was caused just by a random accident of being cut mildly and it becoming irritated. As the abscess was becoming more inflamed I began to notice it from the physical irritation it caused while moving my arm around. It was a minor annoyance at the time and I could feel it with my fingers but I thought that it would eventually work itself to the surface and I wouldn’t have to worry about it.
Over a couple of days to a week, it progressively got worse until finally it was excruciating enough to say a doctor needs to look at it. At the doctor’s office they diagnosed it as an abscess and it needed to be removed. Nothing life threatening, but the way it is done is interesting. The abscess is cut open and the puss is expunged. Once this is done and it is clear, the doctor places gauze in the opening and that is that. What I didn’t know, was that for the abscess to not come back the healing process had to start from the inside and work outward. As the abscess heals it pushes the gauze out until it is fully healed. If the abscess heals opposite of this then there is a chance of it reforming.
The reason for this story and what it brings to mind is the journey that we, as those overcoming an addiction, go under. The journey cleans out a lot of stuff and if what is cleaned out is not replaced with God, and God living, then the old habits will just return. This brings to mind the verses Matthew 12:43-45 which says:
“44‘When an impure spirit comes out of a person, it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it. 44Then it says, ‘I will return to the house I left.’ When it arrives, it finds the house unoccupied, swept clean and put in order. 45Then it goes and takes with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there. And the final condition of that person is worse than the first…’” (NIV)
In this Jesus is stating how our life is when cleaning out evil spirits/habits and they are not replaced with the correct Occupant. We the addict start off with a minor annoyance just like the abscess and then it finally becomes too big to ignore. We seek the Healer, God, and God does an amazing feat of clearing out what has become ingrained. This process leaves a gaping hole that has to be slowly healed with God’s loving embrace and touch. He is the only one that can be the gauze for our wound. Whilst the gauze is in the abscess it is still painful because it is an open wound. This is the same for when God is changing and reforming us from the inside out. When we don’t take the steps to live with the reformation power of God and make it through the healing process. The stuff we fought off with God returns and brings more baggage along with it. The amazing thing is that God is full of grace and power and comes right alongside us to begin the process again if we chose. Hopefully, if we have a new mindset and desire for our lives to have His purpose transform us, from that valley, He can bring us to a new peak which is even higher than it was before.
The Word says in James 4:10 NKV,
“Humble yourself in the sight of the Lord and He will lift you up.”