“He let’s me rest in green meadows; he leads me beside peaceful streams. He renews my strength. He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to his name.” (Psalm 23:2-3)
When we allow God to guide us, we have peace and contentment. When we sin and choose to go our own way, we can’t turn around and blame God for the misery we find ourselves in. In fact, rebelling against God does against all of our best interests. So why do we sin when we know it will only lead to misery?
Addiction is, in my opinion, one of the most powerful ways the devil tries to gain power over God’s children. After days of bingeing, which usually ends in a big drunken blowout with my boyfriend, I walk away feeling so stupid, like somebody played some kind of sick joke on me. I know I can’t handle alcohol. I know deep down that I’m an alcoholic. I know I shouldn’t drink at all. Yet, time after time I somehow justify having a drink. Which never turns out to be just one drink. Drinking moderately is the exception, not the rule. I can do it if I have to, but I much prefer the sneaky, drink-until-you-drop kind of drinking.
Honestly, I don’t think I’ll ever quite understand my tendency towards self-destruction. I’ll never understand how my mind can justify a few minutes of bliss knowing full and well the next morning will bring with it a gruesome hangover and a pocket full of regrets. To think that almost all of the hardships I have endured have been self-inflicted and directly linked to my alcohol problem is eye-opening. But instead of continuing to stew in self-loathe and regret, I’m going to praise the Lord.
“Praise the Lord! Let all that I am praise the Lord. I will praise the Lord as long as I live. I will sing praises to my God with my dying breath.” (Psalm 146:1-2)
In a world plagued with violence, war, inequality, poverty, and corruption, I have a lot to be thankful for. When I think about the state of the world we live in today, I’m faced with the insignificance of my problems. But despite this insignificance, God remains intimately involved in my life. And for that, I am deeply grateful.
It’s about time I shift my focus away from all the things that have gone wrong in my life, and start focusing on all the things that have gone right. Up until now, all of my posts have been about me—my life, and my problems. I haven’t taken a moment to thank God for all of his countless blessings. I should be grateful for all that I’ve been given. After all, my life could be far worse. Yet still, God has blessed me in so many wonderful ways. So I pray and I thank the Lord.
Thank you God. Thank you for never letting me go. For leading me through this path of sobriety and for opening my eyes to all of your great wonders. Thank you for renewing my spirit, even when I don’t have the strength enough to ask, and thank you for all of the opportunities you have placed before me. I pray that my heart will remain grateful, open, and kind and that I will learn to praise you in all circumstances. I want to praise you not only after the storm has passed, but also in the midst of unfortunate circumstances. I want to praise you even when I can’t possibly imagine how a difficult situation can be used for good. I trust in your eternal goodness, Lord. In Jesus name, Amen.