“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; a time to tear, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace.” Ecclesiastes 3:1-8
I talk with a lot of people who are walking though life loving an addict. When they reach the level that they start questioning “Is what I am doing helping or hurting,” they often start asking for help. It may be questions to those that know the person with addiction. It may be someone who has dealt with addiction personally or loved someone who faced addiction. Or often they seek professional support. I have sat quietly in many group settings because I have learned people are full of opinions and advice when it comes to solving problems for others.
What I have learned, and even share with my clients is “there is not a solid answer that can be given that works every time” to help someone be released from their addiction (or in most human matters, for the record). I believe Holy Spirit holds the answer, yet, His advice varies in each situation because He knows the big picture. King Solomon in all his wisdom knew this. He wrote there is a time for everything.
There is a time to live.
And there is an appointed time for each person to die.
There is a time when tough love works and we refrain from embracing.
There is equally a time when embracing in love is what is needed.
There is a time for treatment programs.
For some there is a time for quitting cold turkey.
There is a time for rock bottom.
There are some who only need a time to hit the wall of a strong boundary.
There is a time for us to plant the seed of love and acceptance.
And there is a time to harvest the seed of that in the life of our loved one.
There is a time for healing.
There is a time for the addicted to be broken.
There is a time to build up someone despite their addiction.
There will be times of mourning.
There will be times of laughter.
There will be a time for tears.
There will be times of dancing in joy.
There will be a time for us to seek out our loved ones.
And a time where it is appropriate to let them stay lost.
There will be times to speak into their lives.
And times where we are told to remain silent.
Regardless of the time it is, God’s timing will be perfect. We must silence the voices of the world and seek His direction when we are helping ourselves, and even more when we are trying to help others. Advice will come to us with contradicting themes, but God can make out paths straight if we seek His wisdom. If we will take the time to trust Him, even when we do not understand, He will direct us. We just have to give Him time to work things out in His way.