I use to drink as a means of coping with everything life tossed at me. If something happy happened, I drank. If something sad happened, I drank. If someone or something upset me or made me angry, I would drink. I didn’t want to feel any type of emotions. I was content to stay numb at all times, and alcohol was the perfect answer. This went on for many years of my life. I didn’t go through anything in my day without alcohol in my system. It was my best buddy, my coping mechanism, the ultimate solution. These were the lies I would tell myself.
When I stopped drinking, I was terrified. The fog was lifted and I was suddenly feeling things I couldn’t “control” by self-medicating. I had to deal with life on life’s terms and I hated it. Slowly, one day at a time, I started learning how to live life sober. To feel feelings and deal with them, rather then hiding them at the bottom of a bottle. It wasn’t easy, and there were times I failed. Each time I learned that drinking was still the same mess it always had been. I learned that I couldn’t control my drinking once I started and that the consequences were still the same: disaster. It was time for a new plan. Drinking was no longer a solution for life.
“So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.” (2 Corinthians 4:18)
When Jesus got a hold of my heart and my recovery, I started to see that not only do I have no control over life; it was going to do it’s thing whether I drank or not, but that everything in it is only temporary. Sadness, anger, sorrow, even happiness are not permanent. We all go through seasons of joy followed by pain, followed by healing and happiness. Everything is subject to change, even love. When we are sad, we will eventually heal. When we are angry, we will be given opportunity to forgive. At the very least our anger will subside. When something tragic happens, we won’t ever forget, but time will heal us. God Himself tells us that even the bodies we live in are temporary dwellings.
“ For we know that when this earthly tent we live in is taken down (that is, when we die and leave this earthly body), we will have a house in heaven, an eternal body made for us by God himself and not by human hands.” (2 Corinthians 5:1)
I recently attended the funeral of a precious four year old boy name Nicholas. Nicholas was born with Alexander’s Disease, a rare neurological disorder. His parents knew this cruel disorder would eventually take their child’s life. He wouldn’t get to do the things a normal boy would get to do. His life would be much too temporary. Instead of giving up, feeling sorry for themselves, and losing faith in God, his parents did something extraordinary. They trusted God more. They accepted and cherished that God had chosen them to be this little hero’s parents, and they kept trusting in His plan for them. Nicholas defied the odds over and over again, and led more people to God in his short four years on earth then most of us do in a lifetime. When his job here was done, Jesus took him home. Nicholas’s service was not only a celebration of his life, it was a tribute to God. A song was played with the following verse:
“Bless the Lord, O, my soul, O my soul. Worship His holy name. Sing like never before, O my soul. I will worship Your holy name.”
I looked over at Nicholas’s parents seated next to the casket of their beautiful son. In what I imagine has been the hardest time of their lives, when they had every right to scream “Why?” his parents were singing praises to God. Nicholas’s dad Josh had his arm extended high above his head, tears rolling down his face, singing his heart out to Jesus. It was one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen.
They chose Jesus.
I don’t need to drink anymore about life. I can accept that this is all just temporary stuff here on earth. I still get angry. I still get sad and experience hardships. I can decide to drink over it, if I really wanted too. Or, I can chose God. When I am happy and blessed, I can praise God. When I go through hard times and am sad, I can praise God. When I get upset and angry, I can pray to God. When I want to drink, I can ask God to help me. He is the permanent solution to all of life’s temporary problems.
Today, no matter what life throws my way, I choose Jesus.