He will rescue the poor when they cry to him; he will help the oppressed, who have no one to defend them. He feels pity for the weak and the needy, and he will rescue them.
Psalm 72: 12-13 New Living Translation
“People see God ever day. They just don’t recognize him.”
Help is Available
Those of us with addictions tend to be great actors. We attempt to keep our outsides looking really good so that no one would suspect that we’re all messed up on the inside. Sadly, nothing could be further from the truth because in the final analysis, our secrets and addictions prove that we’ve been little more than pretenders. Mostly, we’ve been going through life acting like we are in control and that our problems happen because other people are not behaving as they should. We’ve generally had an attitude like we’ve got it all together and if the rest of the world would just cooperate with us then everything would be okay. Do you recognize the thinking here? We fake it. We pretend. We go through life with a head full of fanciful thinking. We are selfish.
Inadvertently, we have made ourselves to be our own god. We have worshiped our own lives, our own agendas, our own priorities and our own values. In short, we have valued ourselves above all else. And many of us have actually done this covertly by hiding ourselves in religion. Whatever we call it, the result has been the same; addiction. So, we find ourselves in a tough spot. We have to make a change in our thinking and in our attitude because the old ways just don’t work anymore.
Recovery from addictions will only come to those of us who can acknowledge and admit that we cannot manage our own lives. As long as we are too proud to admit our weaknesses we will never be able to change them. If we are going to live and recover we will have to find a belief and a faith in something that will work for us because what we’ve had up to this point hasn’t been working. Has it? We need to have help from a Power that is greater than we are. A Power that can heal us where we could not heal ourselves, from the inside out. In light of the destruction that addiction has brought on to us, we must know that we’ll be better off cooperating with this Higher Power instead of trying to overcome it or deny it.
While it is true that we will need help from other people along the way, our failures to heal ourselves prove that we must learn that only God will be the ultimate solution for our problems. Sometimes, as we ask for help we must make the simple and difficult admission of our fearfulness, as well as our powerlessness. On the one hand we fear God and his unpredictability and on the other hand we fear our addictions and their certainty.
Our problems have not really been our addictions, or even the painful circumstances of our unmanageable lives. We, our own self-centeredness that is, is really our major problem. Only God, who often works through people, can solve the “you” and “me” problem and give to us the liberation we’ve been created to experience. As we put our hope in God we find that our past humiliations become humility for today. As we hope and trust in The Higher Power, God can make the tragedy and weakness of addiction into a joy that positively empowers everything we think and feel and do with our lives. As faith in God becomes real for us we find that our addictions and our lives become helpful and encouraging to others as well. After all, everyone is addicted in one way or another.
Our Journey Home - Insights and Inspirations for Christian Twelve Step Recovery
By David Zailer
Copyright David Zailer, 2011