When a battle is lost, the usual method of acknowledgement is waving a white flag, or in modern day language, tap out. But then are there are those such as my former countrymen in Lithuania many years ago, who committed mass suicide rather than being dominated by their oppressor. For some people it is just too hard to deal with all the pain of what might be considered disgrace.
In a meeting this week, two men spoke of how they used heroin and meth under control, carefully buying the product, sanitizing all their needles and paraphernalia so that everything was under so-called control. Then events happened, and they didn't care anymore. Instead of surrendering to admit they had a problem, they compounded the problem, and things have gotten much worse since, until now.
Not just in the area of addiction, but also in the area of just plain sinful behavior, lying, cheating, stealing, abusing, manipulating and anything else, the answer to regroup, to start all over in transformation, is surrender. But not just a surrender, but an unconditional surrender of everything to be sponged out into a clean slate of a new beginning.
If we surrender and keep taking it back, we never get straightened out. One of the great Hymns that always touches my heart is "All To Jesus I surrender, I Surrender All!" Why to the average person who may or may not know about who he was or what he can do would this matter? Let's look at a couple of surrenders from his time on earth:
He took five loaves of bread and two fish and fed 5000 people, then had leftovers. How did this happen? The apostles turned the 5 and 2 over to Jesus; they surrendered their food and God gave them back a banquet. Lazarus died, his family kind of blamed Jesus by saying this would have not happened if you were here. But Lazarus had to surrender his life, for God to demonstrate that once you put the impossible in His hands, he does the impossible. Mary Magdalene was broken before her surrender of her way of life, and a shining start thereafter. It goes on and on with God...
But we cannot let our addictions and sins go on and on because they eventually lead to disastrous results. We can surrender without fear that we cannot heal because of the nature of this amazing God we serve. But it won't work if we don't Surrender All by turning our life and our will over to He who will deliver the results that we cannot deliver ourselves.
Unconditional. powerless, unmanageable, just surrender all!
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.