This Moses, whom they rejected . . . God sent as both ruler and redeemer by the hand of the angel who appeared to him in the bush. Acts 7:35
There are multiple barriers that prevent the addict from getting help. For one, he often simply doesn’t want to change. The stigma of addiction though, is another hurdle that often keeps the addict enslaved.
If I have pneumonia, there’s no shame in admitting it, seeing a physician, and telling my friends about it. With my addiction though, even when I wanted to change, I just didn’t want anyone to know. Mine was a shameful problem that I desperately wanted to keep hidden because I felt like everyone would look down on me. Even in recovery, it was hard to show my face in church. It just felt like everyone there had their lives together and that I was the biggest loser in the room. I was a failure, a reject, and as such, I felt utterly worthless.
Though it wasn’t due to an addiction, Moses must have felt much the same way. Having killed an Egyptian, he fled Egypt to escape the Pharaoh’s wrath. Rejected by his own people, he was living in exile. If there’s one place in the world that Moses could never show his face again, it was back in Egypt. In hiding at least, he could start over. Back in Egypt, he was a murderer and a reject.
God though, often chooses to use, not those whom we think are successful, but rather those who are losers, to do his will. So, God told Moses that he was going to be his voice back in Egypt. Moses drug his feet a little, but eventually he obeyed and through him, God delivered the Israelites from slavery.
It’s easy to be paralyzed by our failures. In shame, we want, like Moses, to run away and hide. We think we’re worthless and can’t be of use to anyone. Often though, that’s just our injured pride worrying too much about what others think. If we’ll repent, turn our lives around and follow God, we’ll find that he prefers to use those who have failed to help others who have failed in similar ways. Personally, I’m useful to other addicts precisely because I’ve struggle with addiction. We may have failed, but when we follow God, he has a way of transforming our failures into good.