The Damage Undone

“I’ve seen the needle
and the damage done
A little part of it in everyone
But every junkie’s
like a settin’ sun.”

–lyrics from Neil Young’s The Needle and the Damage Done

Neil wrote this song about two close friends who had heroin addictions. They died after the song was recorded. The sun went down on his friends. Heroin addiction, like other addictions, left unchecked, is a death sentence.

This ballad is a warning for those who engage in destructive behavior such as using heroin. There is a little part of destructive behavior in everyone.

A drug addict once told me that he wished he hadn’t engaged in the behavior that put him in the sorry state he was in.  Although life is not a video game, where you can erase everything you’ve done and start over, you can, with God’s help, start fresh.

The book of Lamentations records the story of Jerusalem ravaged by war. The Israelites were run out of  town and were oppressed after having turned away from God. “Those who pursue us are at our heals; we are weary and find no rest.” Sounds like the state of the homeless in Bucks County, PA.

The prophet Jeremiah reluctantly called on God to intervene. “Restore us to yourself, O Lord, that we may return; renew our days as of old. Unless you have utterly rejected us and are angry with us beyond measure,” he lamented. But despite the Israelites messing up, God answered prayer and returned the exiles to Jerusalem.

No matter how much we mess up, if we come to God and trust in Him he will have mercy on us and will restore our ruined lives. After turning away from God, my life spun out of control and I was in a downward spiral. I suffered greatly, hurting myself and loved ones. The anxiety and depression I had suffered from but kept under control got out of control.

God restored me, pulled me up out of the pit after I returned to God.

According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, about 18 percent of adults in America suffer from some form of anxiety related disorder. For the Christian, there should be an inverse relationship between such afflictions and their faith. The more you have faith, the less you are afflicted with such ailments. One Christian sister told me that if you pray, you don’t worry. If you worry, then you don’t pray.

“[Thou], which hast shewed me great and sore troubles, shalt quicken me again, and shalt bring me up again from the depths of the earth.”

–Psalms 71:20