Rend Not Your Clothes...But Your Heart

"Beloved, if any unholiness exists in the nature, it is not there by the consent of the Spirit of God. If unholiness is in your life it is because your soul is giving consent to it, and you are retaining it. Let it go. Cast it out and let God have His way in your life." --John G. Lake

He came so restless. The charge nurse asked me to evaluate this young, newly incarcerated male. His upper extremities were showing slight tremors, when our medication nurse made a round in his unit.

“I take like 30 pills of Vicodin [a narcotic] a day, Ma’am. And yes, I also drink lots of alcohol everyday and snort heroin.” His gaze was not steady, combing every corners of the Infirmary. His arms hanging on to his clothing as if he wanted to tear them.

“Relax, Sir. I know it’s difficult. But if you keep moving your left arm, the blood pressure cuff will not stop pumping and it’s gonna’ hurt you,” I softly warned.

“Awww….Okay. Okay….I’m trying,” he responded with very rapid sighs.

I started him on two protocols: one for opiate withdrawal and the other for alcohol withdrawal. I was allowed to give him certain medications based on those. To his relief.

“Sir,” I repeated, “Relax. Okay? Try to. Stop pulling on your clothes.”

“Thank you, Ma’am. I’ll try.”

“These medications will help control your shaking, the runs, nausea and vomiting and at night, you would be given something to help you sleep. It would be brought to where you are housed by the medication nurses.”

The rapid footsteps left the Infirmary. His face managed to paint a grateful smile that something was done. But that “fix” was only temporary. He knew that. Change must come from him. Deep inside.

God wants our hearts. From our hearts come both the good and the bad things. If given to Him with true repentance, the bad things go. Like being purged. It is not an easy process. God did not guarantee an easy life with Him. But it would be worth it. For a life with Christ is liberating. Our sins forgiven when we truly repent. Let us stop pulling on our clothes, trying to make choices. Just choose for one. The only way. The only truth. The only life.

“Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the Lord your God, for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and he relents from sending calamity.” ~ Joel 2:13 [NIV]

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