It all seems so clear, and then life happens, and it all changes. The plays we called that seemed to work so well now become secondary to a new game plan that is called survival. All of a sudden just staying healthy and providing food on the table supersede everything else.
Then like a tidal wave, one day it all hits you as if the weight of the entire world is on you. You could be a single mom, a recovering addict that is on the edge, a corporate executive or a pastor of a church, or maybe a person living alone who is the sole supporter of your future. And when it hits, we look for clarity, how will I survive?
It hit me this morning when I woke up, boom, my usually rosy and optimistic attitude took a nosedive in altitude. But instinctively, instead of reaching for the Valium that calmed me many years ago, I reached for the book that helped me find a new life, free from addiction, and showed me a new way to cope with things of this nature. Then, I turned on the computer (one of our favorite friends in this pandemic) and tuned into a worship service.
As the clarity began to gradually return, the songs and the sermon were pointed directly at me. The preacher spoke of how he felt anxiety and depression recently as well as the weight of his church's future. That being a great person of faith does not preclude moments of a "tidal wave" experience.
He went on to say in so many words, we need a new play called that has always worked when needed, and as that clarity grew stronger, the words of the song resonated in my soul, "your presence is an open door - I know a breakthrough is coming".
And I remembered how many times God has brought me through moments such as these. Clarity, how the sweet the sound of His voice!
April 12th, 2020
Yes, right about now we are all about to jump up and shout "get me outta here"! But, we are confined by the rule of law and common sense to wait. Now, that is a problem, waiting while in confinement, especially for those in addiction, because confinement means we have to be alone with ourselves and face who we are.
I am reminded of two important things, one is the story of the caterpillar who goes into a cocoon for about two weeks and completely changes its body and character to become a butterfly. Lots of change involved here but also a period of time that it takes to be reborn into something new. Maybe we have put on a few pounds from inactivity, but we have also gained some valuable insight into ourselves, and into our faith during this confinement. We will all come out of this pandemic changed and hopefully stronger if we get the point.
The other, of course is relating to today, and the fact that you can confine the author of our faith, but they could not confine the spread of that faith once he arose from the confinement of a tomb. Nothing can hold back the faith that relies on real truth, and the truth is that what the son set free, is free to prosper, grow and multiply.
He arose, and like a butterfly majestically cast his presence to other people so that we would know beyond a shadow of a doubt, you cannot confine the Alpha and the Omega, the One who is I Am, and to take a look at the majesty of him who is the redeemer of our souls. Once that happened the spread of faith could not be contained.
We will come out of confinement, and we will arise again as changed people with a new found appreciation of what faith and freedom means, and hopefully understanding we don't have to escape through addiction or any other means to be free, because what he did for us has made us free indeed!
The Answer When We Have None
A few days ago, I was coming home carrying a bag of groceries, and walked past the postal clerk processing the mail in several mailboxes. Heading back for the second bag I heard her coughing without a filter, then heard a friend of hers say hello and asked why she wasn't wearing a mask and gloves. So I used a different route for sure.
Yesterday while waiting for a prescription at Walgreen's I put my hands not only on the counter but also putting in my codes for my bank card on the pad., and it struck me that there is only one way to prevent this virus from growing - stay home and lock the doors.
Despite any other precautions we might take there is no way we can think of every answer to the constant threat of an unseen enemy. Does this sound familiar?
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. Ephesians 6:12
We can't see it except in the results of it, but we can prevent it from taking over our mind by going to the one who has every answer to an unseen situation, and though that may not prevent difficult things from happening, it provides faith and security through the trial.
We may have to hunker down, but doing so is the only way we will survive the bombardment of situations we in our finite minds have no answer for. And when we survive we will understand how to face the next ongoing battle.
God is the answer when we have none of our own, he is the answer when we are lost and alone, and he is the ultimate answer when we lock the doors and stay home!
Glenn is an ex-Marine Viet Nam vet who is also a recovering alcoholic, clean and sober for 30 years. He has been involved in start up and ongoing recovery ministry at North Atlanta Church and Campus for the last two decades. He has a passion for outreach and to spread the message that the answer to lasting and fulfilling recovery from addiction is in a relationship with Jesus Christ. He and the ATB team are available to assist in your questions or needs on an individual basis and will do so maintaining complete confidentiality. You may e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.