It is a war out there. With the bombing in Boston and daddies killing their little girls in Wisconsin, I turn on the news only to see so much brokenness in this world. It is so sad and it leaves me feeling powerless and hopeless and feeling like there is no point to any of this. It is a war, there are forces we need to fight.
But it is my decision how I can choose to be influenced by it, that I can choose to seek hope in a bad situation and I can seek comfort in the one who has seen these dark days come and go! When we start to get a bit of clarity of a power outside ourselves who is running the show, we tend to loosen the reins on our life and we can let go a bit. We do not need to white knuckle our way through life.
For me, and I think of a lot of us, it isn’t other people or the world we need to battle even when circumstances points to others as the cause, but most of the time, the enemy is the inner me….it is my choices, or my attitude or my judgments against others that is the enemy. It is the inner me that prevents me from having a deeper connection with God to keep me on the path of an abundant, joy filled life. The enemy is the inner me. This is why we sometimes design our lives to try to hide from ourselves. We numb out with movies or food or drugs or drinking. We disassociate from our feelings, we disassociate from ourselves with overspending or overworking or Facebook or video games. The enemy is the inner me and we end up being both the slave and the slavedriver.
So, how to turn this enemy into a partner in recovery?
As Pharaoh approached, the people of Israel looked up and panicked when they saw the Egyptians overtaking them. They cried out to the L ord , and they said to Moses, “Why did you bring us out here to die in the wilderness? Weren’t there enough graves for us in Egypt? What have you done to us? Why did you make us leave Egypt? Didn’t we tell you this would happen while we were still in Egypt? We said, ‘Leave us alone! Let us be slaves to the Egyptians. It’s better to be a slave in Egypt than a corpse in the wilderness!’” (Exodus 14:10-12 NLT)
Because we don’t decide to trust in a power outside of ourselves, we go back to our old ways of thinking and when we go back to old thinking we go back to old behaviors. This is why people can go to treatment 8 squillion times but if they don’t take this step, they will always go back to the drug….they will always take the man back, they will always react to life instead of respond and make bad choices that lead to crappy lives. That is not God’s fault! Take a look at step three in recovery:
step three; We made a decision to turn our lives and our will over to the care of God.
What do the israelites do?
But Moses told the people, “Don’t be afraid. Just stand still and watch the Lord rescue you today. The Egyptians you see today will never be seen again. (Exodus 14:13 NLT)
The Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm.” (Exodus 14:14 NLT)
Trust is a verb, an action word.
When circumstances start to feel jacked up and temptation seeps in, this is when we need to activate trust. Trust is something we control. We can decide to trust a person a place or a thing or a season of life, and we can decide to trust that God is on our side and desires us to have the good life.
Then the Lord said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to me? Tell the people to get moving! Pick up your staff and raise your hand over the sea. Divide the water so the Israelites can walk through the middle of the sea on dry ground. And I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians, and they will charge in after the Israelites. My great glory will be displayed through Pharaoh and his troops, his chariots, and his charioteers. When my glory is displayed through them, all Egypt will see my glory and know that I am the Lord !” (Exodus 14:15-18 NLT)
God sometimes puts us in sticky situations so his glory can shine through not just for the betterment of our lives but so that others can know him too! I think we tend to overcomplicate things…decide to trust. God wrote the story, we only need to walk in it. If the israelites hadn’t decided to trust and they hadn’t done the action of walking, this would be a story with a different kind of ending.
What will your story end with? God wrote the story…we only need to walk in it.
Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I entrust my life. (Psalm 143:8 NIV)
God, I offer myself to thee. To build with me and to do with me as thou wilt. Relieve me of the bondage of self, that I may better do thy will. Take away my difficulties, that victory over them may bear witness to those I would help of thy power thy love and thy way of life, may I do thy will always, AMEN! -Big Book of A.A. pg. 63