“I found half a bottle of vodka hidden in the closet.”
These words sent a rush of panic through my body. My fiance had found the bottle, hidden under some totes in the closet. I had no recollection of hiding it there, and it had to have been over a year old. He had dumped it out and thrown the empty bottle in the trash. I felt this overwhelming feeling of anxiety and panic thinking about the “what if’s” of this scenario. What if I had been alone and found it? What if I hadn’t dumped it out and chose to drink it? It would of been so easy. I probably would have rationalized that it was only half of a .75, and it really couldn’t do that much damage. I know my pattern would have been to start that way, vowing to only drink that small amount, but I would be at the store buying more in no time. Another part of me, the alcoholic part, was disappointed he had gotten to it first. I started imaging the warm rush of alcohol down my throat, followed by that burning sensation I use to chase. The warm tingle that would start to fill my body…”STOP!!” My normal brain was screaming at me and awoke me from my reminiscent fantasy. My palms were sweaty and my heart was racing. What if, what if, what if…
“Be still, and know that I AM God.” (Psalm 46:10)
I thought of this verse, which I had heard before, but had recently started hearing a lot. I remember reading it on the trip to my first treatment center in Minot back in 2010 and I had always gained a certain calm by reading it since then. But in the last few weeks, I kept hearing the voice of the Lord inside my head saying “Be still. Be still.” I got so frustrated trying to “decode” the message. In fact, that Thursday I was talking about it at my Celebrate Recovery group. I sat there with my friends saying ”I don’t know what He is trying to tell me! I am listening and waiting, but I just keep hearing “Be still! I thought I WAS being still.” Just then, the opening lyrics of our worship song began to play, so I sat back to listen.
“Be still. There is a healer…” My friend tapped me on the back, an all knowing smile on her face. I looked at her almost exasperated, and I listened to the words of the song.
“Be still. There is a healer. His love is deeper than the sea. His mercy it is unfailing . His arms a fortress for the weak. Let faith arise.”
I love the feeling I have when I feel close to Jesus. My heart is filled with joy, my soul feels calm, and I feel at peace. I often wish I could always feel that way, I want to hold onto it forever. But then my cell phone will ring, or a alarm will go off, or a bill will be overdue, and I am sucked back into the world. The crazy, unpredictable, unmerciful world.
“I lift my hands to believe again. You are my refuge you are my strength; as I pour out my heart these things I remember. You are faithful God forever.
So often I am rushing through my days, trying to accomplish so many things. From work, to bills, to meetings and appointments. I rush ahead in my sobriety. I play out all the different scenarios for my life. I say things like “When I have ‘this much’ money, I will be OK.”
“When I have ‘this many’ years sober, then my life will really take off.”
“When I go back to school, when I get a great job, when I lose weight, when I drive again, when I…when I…
When I be still, and know that He is God. That is what God was trying to say. More so, when I be still and LET him be God. I often forget that I do a pretty crappy job of trying to control my life. I am constantly rushing ahead in “what if” thinking. When I am off trying to live and plan in the future, I am not living in today. I am not trusting in the One who says “I Am,” the one who has the script, the plans, and the outcomes for my life. The One who made a man who hasn’t cleaned a closet in his life, suddenly decide to clean the one with my old stash hidden inside while I was gone at work. Who knew if I found that bottle, I maybe woudn’t be strong enough yet to say no. So He didn’t ask me to try. He simply took care of it. He took care of me. While I was off somewhere else, planning and plotting out my future, God was in the background, quietly taking care of something for me. Boy, was I humbled
All we have is right now. I need to remember I can worry, plot, and decode my life away, but there is a much bigger force at work in my life. He has my best interests, and He is fighting for me to achieve them. When I forget this and get caught up in the worries of this world, which I will, God will come to me and remind me who He is. He will invite me to be still and to trust in the one who says “Be anxious for nothing…” (Philippians 4:6)
“I am the Alpha and the Omega…who Is and Was and Is to come, the Almighty.” (Revelations 1:8)