On hearing this, Jesus said to them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners”
We are all sick. I was born sick, I was raised in a sick home. I went to school with sick people. I married a sick woman. And I have 3 very sick children. I work with sick people and I take care of sick customers. I lived life sick, trying to pretend that there is nothing wrong with me. I desperately looked for ways to medicate myself. The whole time I desperately hoped that nobody would notice that I was sick. Then the doctor came to me.
I was born in a house with a recovering alcoholic father and a passive-aggressive mother. I was the youngest of 3 and the only boy. While we definitely have some good memories, my strongest memories are of my parents fighting, my father’s disappointment that I was not who he wanted me to be, and finally my father withdrawing from the family. I believed the lie that I was responsible for the things that were happening in my life and that I was unlovable.
When my father left I was 13 and lost. I became obsessed with the subject of suicide. I regularly looked for opportunities to end my life, but I could never bring myself to follow through with it. I saw this as yet another failure. I found relief in friends and in intoxication. I desperately wanted my friends to accept me and I loved that when I was high, I just didn’t care.
I went to the priest at church to get some guidance. I knew God didn’t like me, but I wanted to change that. The priests ignored me and church did not give me any hope. I decided for myself that God did not exist. If he did, I wanted nothing to do with him. After all, I was a disappointment to everyone and he made me.
I was 19 when God gave me a glimmer of hope. My roommate in college knew Jesus. He didn’t care that I didn’t believe in God. He was my polar opposite, and still he accepted me for who I was. He would tell me on a daily basis about who God was and what God was doing in his life. He assured me that God loved me.
It wasn’t until I was 24 that God started to reach my heart. I was thrown off an ATV and hurt pretty badly. I remember thinking that if my roommate was right, I really regretted not knowing Jesus. After my recovery, my sister encouraged me to look for a church. I found one that I liked, and they seemed to like me. I found myself one night on my patio smoking a cigarette and drinking a beer while reading the bible my sister had gotten for me. In frustration I closed the book and I confessed to God that I believed that he was real, but I did not know about Jesus. Who was Jesus? How did he fit into the equation? Then it was like I heard a voice ask, “Who is it that you think you are talking to?” A light turned on. I understood. This person I have been talking to was Jesus. I was filled with excitement. A few weeks later, I surrendered my life to him. He assured me that he knew that I was broken. He knew I was sick, but he accepted me and loved me as I am.
I was still sick. I still did the things that I knew God did not want me to do. I still got angry. I still had feelings of hopelessness. I even continued to struggle with thoughts of suicide. The difference was that I had Jesus with me and he knew how to treat my sickness.
I devoured the bible. I studied his word daily. I talked to people about what I read. I learned to apply his word to my life. And while I wasn’t cured, I was trusting him and I was getting treatment for my sickness.
This is why I love Breathing Life International. Our goal is to partner with people who will love the sick people in the world. We want the hurt to know that we hurt too. We want the lost to know that we were lost too, and we still lose our way sometimes. We want those who fear exposure to know that they are loved just as they are. We want the sick to know the doctor and get treatment.