Today:

I am a recovering compulsive overeater, abstinent by the grace of God one more day at a time.

An amazing thing happened yesterday, and it happened after I spent most of the day in a blue funk in anticipation of a difficult talk I was planning.  As I made my feeble plans, however, I asked God to help me, cast my fears on Him, and again prayed for direction for my adolescent children.  Before the day was over, and as my opportunities for having this discussion were waning, the male child of God entrusted to my care approached me, thanked me for an email I sent him days ago, said it was just the kind of opportunity he was looking for, and asked for my help in facilitating his exploration of it.  He was eager to take action, excited, motivated, and willing to work for something.  All the things I would have addressed with him had been addressed by God during this single day! 

Aware of what I had gone though in preparation for the talk that proved unnecessary, and overhearing my son’s address and complete attitude change, my wife greeted me in celebration after he left and said, “Why do we ever doubt the Lord?”  I honestly don’t know!

From today’s entry in Voices of Recovery:

“We give up fear and indecision, knowing that if we are sincere, our Higher Power will give us the knowledge of our best course in life…” — The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of Overeaters Anonymous, p. 24

Clearly God gives knowledge and direction to whom He will, and sincere prayer can tap the root of His providence even to be shared with those outside us.  Fear and indecision does seem an awful misuse of energy that might otherwise have gone toward helpful, loving service.

Heavenly Father, I know that You are habitually good and more than able to provide all that I might ever need.  Help me to live in the joy of Your providence, and not in the shadow of doubt and anxiety.  For my life to be of maximum benefit to You, it cannot be one still riddled with insecurity.

From Proverbs 20:

It is to a man’s honor to avoid strife,
but every fool is quick to quarrel.”

Overall, I am glad that over the past couple days I did not rush to conflict.  Such was the nature of my defective character, and it was nice to act in contrast, patiently loving and encouraging, even when emotions seemed to indicate a tantrum was in order.  This verse was the “Well done, son,” affirmation of my God-given victory yesterday.  It went nicely along with this one:

22 Do not say, ‘I’ll pay you back for this wrong!’
Wait for the Lord, and he will deliver you.”

He really does!  He’s amazing!

From my reading through the Bible, currently in Isaiah 9:

The prophecy of this chapter is one heralding the King of kings, but the second half warns that He will be rejected and the earth and its inhabitants will be scorched by fire after His eternal throne is instituted.

For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor,[b] Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the increase of his government and peace
there will be no end.
He will reign on David’s throne
and over his kingdom,
establishing and upholding it
with justice and righteousness
from that time on and forever.
The zeal of the Lord Almighty
will accomplish this.”

16 Those who guide this people mislead them,
and those who are guided are led astray.
17 Therefore the Lord will take no pleasure in the young men,
nor will he pity the fatherless and widows,
for everyone is ungodly and wicked,
every mouth speaks vileness.

Yet for all this, his anger is not turned away,
his hand is still upraised.”

19 By the wrath of the Lord Almighty
the land will be scorched
and the people will be fuel for the fire”

The “wrath of God” may frighten some inquirers and make some seekers uncomfortable.  The truth is the shallowest obedience is the result of negative reinforcement – that is pain or fear compliance.  One marked by forced obedience is not the relationship any loving father would want with a son or daughter, but a responsible one wouldn’t give up on even the most rebellious child without doing all that was necessary to turn a prodigal homeward.  Fear is a poor basis for relationship, but it is a great motivator to move the hell-bent from harm into a place and posture where relationship can occur.

God I thank You for scaring me away from what would harm me, and for prodding me away from danger, back into relationship with You.  Please shine Your light on those around me, so that they will all know the glory of Your grace, and never have to experience the fury of Your wrath.  I look forward to Your coming in power and majesty with sincere longing, but I will be patient so that those who still struggle with indecision might be convinced of Your love before the Day of the Lord comes.

From Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, page 105:

“The moment we catch even a glimpse of God’s will, the moment we begin to see truth, justice, and love as the real and eternal things in life, we are no longer deeply disturbed by all the seeming evidence to the contrary that surrounds us in purely human affairs.  We know that God lovingly watches over us.  We know that when we turn to Him, all will be well with us, here and hereafter.”

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