Heroin, The Book of Job, and the Search for Something More

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book of job

The Rebuke of Bildad

An Oscar-winning actor was found dead in a New York City apartment bathroom with a heroin needle still protruding from his body. Sources reveal that the actor foretold of his own possible demise a few weeks prior to being found unresponsive, leaving behind a wife and children.

Some view life as an unbearable play and hasten their exit from its stage. Others wishing only to escape it for a moment run headlong into euphoria, stumble into addiction, and fall unexpectedly at the feet of death.

Altering the Brain

What is it about life that causes people to manipulate their brain chemistry in dangerous and extreme ways?

  • Is it the promise of pleasure?
  • Is it the relief of pain?
  • Is it a rebellion against authority?
  • Is it the insatiable desire for a new experience?

There are plenty of other ways to get a dopamine fix. You could argue that skydiving is dangerous, extreme, and manipulates your brain chemistry. Why then, do so many of the rich and famous chase their dragons into a room meant for expelling waste only to expend their life in the ultimate waste, meeting death with neither companionship nor dignity?

Human beings have been living in a state of rebellion since the first temptation of new knowledge. The Book of Genesis describes how the serpent tempted Eve with a promise that she would “be like God, knowing good and evil” if she followed his suggestion to eat of the forbidden fruit (Genesis 3:24-25). How often do we also eat of new fruit without thinking carefully about the consequences?

We have all been designed to search for something more. We live in a state of dis-ease, constantly looking for the solution to our restlessness. Desperate to solve the mystery, we attribute our longings to the things we think we know. It must be a problem with our relationship, our career, or the result of a childhood trauma. If the problem exists only as part of the individual, then the individual should be able to solve the problem with the right kind of action or thinking.

But this does not seem to be the case.

Many religions, including numerous sects of Christianity, are based on works righteousness. This simply means that in addition to accepting God’s saving grace, there is something else you must do in order to secure your salvation.

The problem is, you can never do enough.

Many spiritualists attempt to offer solutions to your problems. Some of them are based on:

  • The Law of Attraction
  • Positive Thinking
  • Mindfulness

These ideas find favor when things are going well. But where is their power when we are afflicted with disease and misfortune?

Renewing the Mind

In the Book of Job, a man is tested beyond what any human could bear. Job, once wealthy and prosperous, loses everything in a test of his faith. Job could have denounced his faith. He could have turned to “strong drink.” He could have developed an addiction simply trying to numb the pain. Job had every reason to be found by himself nearby a commode, unresponsive. After losing his possessions, his health, and his family, why should he not curse God and die as his wife at one point suggests?

The answer is that Job had faith in a God who promises a destiny of justice and righteousness. The Christian god makes it possible to have meaning in eternity, and thus meaning here and now. The god of the Bible provides a basis for morality and explains our intuition about right and wrong–a Law the Apostle Paul describes as written on our hearts. After all of Job’s grievances in response to Bildad in Chapter 19, he turns back to his faith in the Lord saying:

“But I know my living redeemer, and he will stand on the dust at last. Even after my skin has been destroyed, yet I will see God in my flesh. I will see Him myself; my eyes will look at Him, and not as a strange. My heart longs within me” (Job 19:25-27).

Your heart may be longing within you, too. But

  • You cannot find fullness in the pursuit of emptiness.
  • You will find no basis for the law of attraction.
  • Only a Divine Mind can create merit in the practice of mindfulness.

As you search to ease your restless soul and search for the “something more,”

“Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind” (Romans 12:2).

The renewing of the mind by the word of God–not the altering of the mind–will lead to the transformation you are seeking.

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What caused you to search for something more?

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Photo Credit: The Bible and Its Story, Volume 6: Poetry–Prophets, Psalms to Isaiah, Logos Software, Public Domain.

Jason B. Ladd

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Christian, husband, father of five, and Marine fighter pilot. Seeking Peace, Waging War, Defending the Faith. What are you fighting for?
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  • http://eserra65.wordpress.com/ Elaine Serra

    The verse “Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind” (Romans 12:2). followed by your statement The renewing of the mind by the word of God–not the altering of the mind–will lead to the transformation you are seeking, is very interesting and thought provoking Jason. You also ask the question, What caused you to search for something more? I briefly thought about it as I read it but have also pondered that question for a while and in the process changed some behaviors (quit smoking) and still working on others (overeating -ongoing struggle but lost considerable amount of weight). But those, I believe, are just symptoms of other, bigger issues that I have been working on and have brought me closer in my daily walk with the Lord, depression and loneliness. The answers to the improvements I have seen in my life over the last year or two have been totally the doing of the Lord Jesus Christ. Being in His word, hearing His word, leaning on Him is definitely the way to overcome the things that cause problems and to cause that positive transformation.

    • http://www.jasonbladd.com/ Jason B. Ladd

      Elaine, Bravo to you for slaying those dragons and hunting for more. There’s power in the imagery of a sword in the word of God. It is a powerful weapon, a precision instrument able to excise the rot of our body and soul. The sooner that people attain wisdom such as yours, the more heartache they will avoid. Thank you for your story!

      • Elaine Serra

        Jason, Thank you for your kind and encouraging words. God bless you and keep you safe. I want you to know you are very appreciated both for your ministry that reaches out to so many and for your service to our country. Semper fi, Marine.

        • http://www.jasonbladd.com/ Jason B. Ladd

          Thanks for the encouragement. FIGHTER FAITH is still just getting off the ground. You can help by spreading the word and sharing any content you feel is valuable. Now that I think about it, Semper Fi makes more sense than ever: always faithful.

  • arkenaten

    Smile, and you don’t think that hiding in the nonsense of religion is any less of a delusion?

    Well, one’s mans drug and all that….

    I find reality is drug enough, thanks.

    • http://www.jasonbladd.com/ Jason B. Ladd

      Ark, we agree on so many things. Many religions are indeed nonsense and delusions. However, there is nothing nonsensical about the life of Jesus Christ, and his followers cannot so easily be labeled delusional. But I also stand with with you in rejecting any opiates of the masses; the life we have been given truly is enough.

  • Jeff & Charmé Fletcher

    Timely entry, with the recent death of actor Philip Seymour Hoffman. Holding onto the unseen hand of God in times of hurt, loneliness, grief, and total desperation, as Job, is a test that many find too big to comprehend until one is there. I do praise God for carrying me during times of trials and testing. He alone is faithful; and our true source of hope in Christ. Thanks for continuing to share your unashamed faith.

    • http://www.jasonbladd.com/ Jason B. Ladd

      Romans 1:16

  • Holly

    Excellent post, well said.
    It pains me to see so many trying to escape hell- hell on earth the kind we find in our own minds and life, refusing the truth that there is a higher being, our Creator, God Almighty- who loves us and wants to help only to find themselves in hell.
    The devil will take you further than you wanted to go and keep you longer than you wanted to stay.
    One man’s drug and all that- in the end reality will be eternal life- either in hell or heaven.