Abstinent Today:

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

 

 

From today’s entry in Voices of Recovery:

“A problem is solved and immediately there is hope that an even tougher one will go the same way.” — For Today, p. 3

The Little Engine that Could eventually did!  The Reverend Dr. Norman Vincent Peale made quite a study on the Power of Positive Thinking, but nothing helps to boost hope like prior success.  Small belief can lead to small achievement, and small achievement can stretch the belief into faith that makes nothing impossible.  Part of the transforming power of the OA fellowship is that shared hope, the kind given away in meetings by members in recovery, is, for many, enough to get the faith ball rolling.  Once that mustard seed gets to tumbling through progress and picks up steam, there is no telling what mountains it will climb or move (Matthew 17:20).

 

 

 

From Proverbs 5 (NKJV):

18 Let your fountain be blessed,
And rejoice with the wife of your youth.”

One of the great injustices we do ourselves is that we resist the blessings of God.  This verse implores us to make room for God’s blessing, and ties it to contentment with God’s provision.  One man is given one woman and is asked to enjoy her and find blessing in the gift that she is.  The eyes of selfishness wander and drag the mind into wondering what it might be like to have Woman B, C, or D.  The minds of women are no different, and neither is the mind of one whose obsession goes to other things: food, drink, drug, thrill, acquisition, or the mere hunt.  When we chase our fancies out-of-bounds, we take ourselves out of the life-giving flow of God’s blessing, and into His loving correction so that we find our way back to grace.  When we embrace the portion given us, it becomes enough, and we find ourselves blessed beyond our wildest dreams.

God, please reveal to me whatever I am doing that prevents You from bringing me Your complete blessing.  Make me content with Your portion and providence, and help me keep my eyes to myself, taking every thought captive to obedience to Your will (2 Corinthians 10:5).

 

 

From my reading through the Bible, currently in John 3 (NKJV):

14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15 that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.”

36 He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.”

The reference here is to the events described in Numbers 21:4-9.  The setting is the wilderness through which the recently freed Israelites being led by Moses.  In their travels, they began to whine about their living conditions, so God sent “fiery serpents” to plaque them and many were bitten and died.  When Moses prayed for a solution, he was instructed to set a bronze model of the serpent up on a high pole and when any bite victim looked on it, they would live.  It sounds a lot like modern man, and I believe it is supposed to.  Numbers 21:4 says, “the soul of the people became very discouraged on the way,” and that is the condition of most of mankind as we tread our various wildernesses now.  We in recovery circles like the acronym “RID” (restless, irritable, and discontent), but “very discouraged on the way” sums it up nicely.  We have all suffered the bite of sin (separation from God), and without intervention surely are doomed to die an eternal spiritual death (permanent separation from God).  The One who saves us has already been lifted up.  What remains is to recognize our condition, maneuver ourselves into position, and lift our eyes in faith to the one redeeming Power, Jesus Christ.

I always thought it was interesting to note that it was not enough to believe that a bronze serpent existed; neither was it good enough to kneel at the base of the pole.  In order to take advantage of its healing power, one had to move from where s/he was, get into position, and gaze at the saving structure.   I’ve imagined myself a bite victim lying in a ditch between buildings or behind a hill.  I would frantically call for help or whatever it took to get all obstacles out of my way to clear a view to the healing statue.  But we want everything our way.  Just like Naaman whined about being baptized in the Jordan River seven times to clean his leprosy (2 Kings 5), we whine and complain, “Surely there must be a different way!”  But the Way has made Himself available; all that is left is to seek Him, find Him, and abide in Him (John 15).

 

 

From the “Big Book” of Alcoholics Anonymous, page 85:

“What we really have is a daily reprieve contingent on the maintenance of our spiritual condition.”

 

 

 

 

Footnotes:

*Abstinence began for me on May 11th, 2010.

For the sake of accountability, the details of my eating are posted in my online food log.

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