Voices of Recovery today says, “I would have to change the way I was eating, behaving, and thinking.  The changes would happen inside myself, so the outside could change.  The directions for how to change were in the Twelve Steps.”  Being willing to change is new to me.  I remember, even as a child, bein very uncomfortable with even the slightest difference that might upset my concept of the way things should be.  The Twelve Steps taught me that, in order to be healthy and stay that way, big changes would have to go deep.  The only change Iwanted at first was in my waistline, but the ones I celebrate most now that I am in recovery and maintaining a healthy weight are the changes I am willing to make as consolations along the way.

 

Proverbs 24:17-18 read, “Do not gloat when your enemy falls; when he stumbles, do not let your heart rejoice, or the LORD will see and disapprove and turn his wrath away from him.”  The spiritual nature of my recovery keeps me mindful of the spiritual nature of everything else.  As I go about considering the spiritual sickness of those who would offend me, I can’t help but concern myself for them.  Gloating over one who falls actually seems out of place to me.  I am reminded of Ephesians 6:12, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”  I am not competing with my fellow man; I am turning every assault of the destroyer into an opportunity to demonstrate God’s goodness and, hopefully, my faithfulness to Him.

 

1 Samuel 20 tells of King Saul’s son, Jonathan, David’s best friend, and how he made a solemn pact with David never to do harm to him or to allow his father’s fury to come to him.  This covenant was made by Jonathan even though he knew it would mean that he would never assume his father’s throne, and that it would enrage his father.  He put his friendship with David, “a man after God’s own heart” (according to 1 Samuel 13:14), above self, family, occupation, and country.  In response to this and the two men’s separation, they both “wept together – but David wept the most.” (verse 41)   In a parallel relationship, I am a son of fury and frustration, one who pretends to be in charge of his life and an heir to a legacy of hurt feelings and bad habits.  Any throne I would occupy would be physical and temporary.  Along came the Heart of David, and I conceded to give Him what little claim to anything I thought I had in a pledge to serve Him and His, in hopes that He would provide for me and bring no harm to my family.  Even after I lay all this down in favor of a relationship with Him who is the Heart of David, I find that, “David wept the most.”  Gracious Father, thank You for loving me more than I would ever be capable of loving You.  May my small life bring You whatever joy it can.

 

We are sure God wants us to be happy, joyous, and free. We cannot subscribe to the belief that this life is a vale of tears, though it once was just that for many of us. But it is clear that we made our own misery. God didn’t do it. Avoid then, the deliberate manufacture of misery, but if trouble comes, cheerfully capitalize it as an opportunity to demonstrate His omnipotence.”  (Alcoholics Anonymous, page 133)

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