Abstinent Today:

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

The roofers are not quite done with my house, but both days they’ve been here there have been storms that cut short their progress.  It’s a little vulnerable knowing severe weather is overhead and the layer of material that covers my house lies in a dumpster in my driveway.  What shields me now, even when wind and rain threaten, is my trust that God has provided and He will continue to provide.  It is His house and His family who dwells in it and they are His to protect or to claim as He sees fit.  As I rest in the knowledge that He will not likely destroy that which is entrusted to His care, I turned on a newscast to learn of the tornado that squashed trees, fences and sheds less than two miles from my house, but it did not come near me.

Thank You, Great Provider, for allowing me to steward this, Your house, one more day at a time.

From today’s entry in Voices of Recovery:

“Once the miracle of forgiveness occurred, the amends happened naturally.”

I know why I could not forgive before recovery, and therefore why my religion was a frustrating series of trial, error, shame, and trial again.  It is because there was one I had not forgiven; one whom God had claimed as precious over my objections; one He had pardoned, but against whom I held a seething, hateful grudge, and worked perpetually though surreptitiously to destroy.  The object of my venomous loathing was none other than me.  As long as I held myself to blame for my shameful past and for never attaining to my perfect expectation, it was impossible for me to forgive any other.  That is why forgiveness is such a miracle.  It must be granted before it can be accepted and it must be accepted before it is shared.

Today I am living the amends I am shown how to live, to myself, to God, and to others.  I am making amends to strangers who represent the many nameless I have wronged in the past.  I am learning to care for myself, and to concern myself with those outside my selfish circle.  This mending of a broken life is a natural following of a supernatural gift so miraculous as the exchange of grace!  God has loved me though my rebellion until I could cease and receive.  Now that I am no longer exhausting myself in futility and hate, I have much more energy and resource to seek, find, and fulfill God’s will for my life.

From Proverbs 1, NIV:

23 Repent at my rebuke!
Then I will pour out my thoughts to you,
I will make known to you my teachings.

33 but whoever listens to me will live in safety
and be at ease, without fear of harm.

The lie of the World is that material matters.  When one answers the call of Wisdom to receive Her instruction and return to the One who made us, the sense of ease comes from the full knowledge that whatever layers of outerwear and ornament are stripped away from me, my soul is secure… “for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day.” (2 Timothy 1:12, NKJV)

From my reading through the Bible, currently in Hebrews 9, NIV:

13 The blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkled on those who are ceremonially unclean sanctify them so that they are outwardly clean. 14 How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death,[c] so that we may serve the living God!

Paul described to the Hebrews, in terms to which they were accustomed, the fulfillment of the Law by the One who came to portray for all time the act of which their every ritual was a foreshadowing.  In his statement here, he even describes the miracle of the washing of the conscience that no longer depends on ritual or futile exertion. The phrase translated here “acts that lead to death” is literally “dead works” according to the Aramaic Bible in Plain English.  How much of my life I have spun my wheel in dead works!  What a joy it is now to watch the vitality of the Spirit in the turning of every wheel, here, there, and every way I walk in accordance with God’s direction and Wisdom’s instruction!

From the “Big Book” of Alcoholics Anonymous, “The Fearful One” retitled “The Man Who Mastered Fear”:

In those six months a new life has opened before me. It isn’t that I have been cured of an ordinarily incurable disease. I have found a joy in living that has nothing to do with money or material success. I know that incomparable happiness that comes from helping some other fellow get straightened out.

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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