|These themes/thoughts were developed by the Bible study group at Saskatoon Lutheran Native Ministry. Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Intern Cindy Miller reports, "The Bible study group had a very powerful experience doing this."
Saskatoon Lutheran Native Ministry
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Saskatoon SK S7L 1S1
- Turn from your "addictions" or die
- Our Awesome God: a God of second, third, fourth…chances!! Thank God!
- When the world has given up on me, God won't.
- Turn from sin - turn to Jesus.
- God's Word, Love, and Forgiveness is my food for life - who or what feeds you?
Our group focused on Luke 13:3, "And I tell you that if you do not turn from your sins, you will all die as they did."
I'll call her Jody. Jody is a deeply spiritual and beautiful woman who has been an active Native Ministry community member for many years. Being a single parent, she works very hard raising her children - facing many societal and personal hardships. One of those hardships, is her addiction to alcohol and drugs. During our study of this text, Jody shared with us her sacred story - a story of darkness, death, and life.
I felt alone - isolated, hopeless, bored, unworthy, unloved. I didn't have a goal in life. I felt physically sick. I was using so much cocaine and whatever else I could get my hands on for so long that my body was starting to shut down. The Enemy saw my weakness and went for it: loneliness. I didn't feel as alone when I used drugs. I had friends - if you could call them that. We shared companionship. We shared similar pains. Cocaine was a fast escape for us - for me.
I have used drugs for many years but this past fall, was the darkest and lowest time of my addicted life. I fell into a powerful depression. I was in a drug induced coma for…I don't know how long. The party was over. There was no one left for me to hang onto - or at least that is what I thought. I was like that bare fig tree - no fruit - no growth - I spiritually died.
Then one day something - I mean someone - happened. Someone watered my dried up fig tree with their tears and prayers. Someone loved me enough to bring me back to this life. Jesus. His grace and love broke through my darkness. His forgiveness brought me back to the Saskatoon Lutheran Native Ministry community. I found fellowship again without having to prove myself. I am accepted here. I needed to acknowledge His love for me. I needed to be reminded that no matter how bare my fig tree may be, Jesus loves me just as I am.
Tears poured down Jody's face as she opened her tattered Bible and read to us Romans 8:38-39, "For I am certain that nothing can separate us from his love: neither death nor life, neither angels nor other heavenly rulers or powers, neither the present nor the future, neither the world above nor the world below - there is nothing in all creation that will ever be able to separate us from the love of God which is ours through Christ Jesus our Lord."
"Nothing," she said, as she closed her Bible and wept.