No One is Beyond Redemption

No One is Beyond Redemption

Moses spoke thus to the people of Israel, but they did not listen to Moses, because of their broken spirit and harsh slavery. Exodus 6:9

Working in addiction medicine can be quite rewarding, but you won’t be surprised to hear that it has its frustrations as well. Some days, with some patients, it feels like I’m simply banging my head against a wall. I want the patient to find recovery and the patient wants it too, but his recurrent pathological choices are just so maddening. Sometimes it seems hopeless. Am I doing any good here? Why am I even trying? Then, however, I must remember my own journey to faith and recovery, which includes 15 years of drug use. I wasn’t transformed on my first try. I went to treatment three times and relapsed hundreds of times. My wife didn’t throw in the proverbial towel on me. As I eventually found recovery, and as God has changed my life, I must believe that he can transform anyone who seeks recovery. I must believe that no one is beyond redemption.

As Moses learned in today’s passage, this isn’t always easy. In the story, the Hebrews had been enslaved to the Egyptians for hundreds of years. This generation knew nothing but slavery. Then, Moses came along and promised that God was going to deliver them. Instead of giving them their freedom though, Pharaoh made their working conditions even harsher. This broke their spirit. When God asked Moses to repeat his promise of deliverance to his people, the Hebrews simply despaired. We’ll never be free. This is hopeless. Even God can’t fix it. God asked his people to have faith, but because of their enduring slavery, they couldn’t believe. Moses wanted to give up, but he didn’t. He may have dragged his feet and argued with God along the way, but he obeyed, and he kept working to set his broken people free. Moses refused to give up on them, even when they’d given up on themselves.

I’m not suggesting that everyone finds redemption and recovery. I know that many won’t. I do know, from my own experience though, that even the hopeless can be transformed. God is in the business of redemption, and it’s his will that everyone be saved (2 Peter 3:9). Some he transforms and some, he allows to resist. When I look at those who just never seem get it, I have two choices. I can look down on them in futility, throwing up my hands. Or, I can recognize that I was once there, and I can just continue trying. God transformed me, delivering me from hopelessness, so I must be obedient and carry the message, believing that no one is beyond redemption.

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