Living Life on Different Terms

I’ve heard it said that fear reflects the absence of faith. I don’t know if that’s true or not. I do know that I don’t want to wander around in the wilderness like the Israelites did after God delivered them from Egypt. Their doubt and fear manifested themselves in restlessness and discontent. That is what doubt and fear do to me; they sow seeds of discord and dissatisfaction, leading to destruction. Unchecked, a wake of mayhem and devastation is sure to follow.

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Even though I have faith, I still experience fear. Doubt is not the absence of trust, is it? I trust, yet, I have doubt. Being in recovery, my primary job is staying clean and sober. That’s job #1.  My doubts and fears will drive me back to the wilderness if I empower them. Staying on the right path means I cannot engage in the business of doubt and fear because they lead down the path of destruction. Doubt and fear make me do stupid things.

My belief in my Higher Power has to be stronger than the angst doubt and fear cause me. My trust in the Lord Almighty must prevail in times of trouble brought on by the creeping demons of doubt and fear.

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.
(Serenity Prayer, Reinhold Niebuhr)

Most days, my fears and doubts aren’t about God anymore. When I take inventory, my doubt and fear center on people, places, and things. I am reminded my choices require wisdom.

Be Still and Know that I am God.

(Psalm 46:10)

After further examination and deep reflection, I have found doubt and fear are rooted in my inability to control everyone, every place, everything. Therein lies my trouble. To do job #1-stay clean and sober-I have to recognize that I am not God and that I am dependent on Him to provide me with courage and wisdom to see things for what they are, not as I would necessarily like them to be. The world and the life in it do not act according to the unwritten, nondisseminated script in my head. Expressing my doubt and fear through anger and resentment do not change reality. Things just don’t work that way. It’s simply not all about me. It’s about God and others. Loving Him and loving them. Jesus says there are no greater commandments than these two.

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Doubt and fear are insidious, inventive and incendiary diseases devising ways to keep me from trusting the Lord, faithfully following His ways, and obediently resting in His Spirit. Abiding in Him, all things are possible. I need not fear. I need not doubt. He alone provides me the strength necessary to sustain me and help me persevere, be it on the mountain or in the valley. He is faithful to never leave me nor forsake me.

Recovery means I no longer live solely the way I want to live. Recovery means, one day at a time, I learn to live the way God wants me to live. Recovery means how I live matters.

Go in peace.

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