Immediate Gratification

Immediate Gratification

He will swallow up death forever; and the Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces . . . Isaiah 25:8

I have difficulty with finding motivation in tomorrow, which is a significant life problem for me. When faced with pleasure now, even though it means some loss or pain later, it’s natural for me to ignore the coming consequences for immediate indulgence. Even when promised some reward tomorrow, if it means some sacrifice now, I’m not terribly interested.

In recovery, faith and life in general though, delayed gratification is usually the route to lasting joy and peace. God made the world in such a way that following him usually means saying no to my impulsive, destructive desires so that I may find joy the right way. He desires that I practice faith, believing that I will find true life, only when I turn from my path to his.

Still, tomorrow can be a long way off. When Isaiah insists that someday God will wipe away every tear and that death will be no more, I find it a nice sentiment, but it doesn’t mean much to me here and now. It’s not a problem of accepting God’s promise – I believe it to be true – I just don’t find myself living for it, as eternity seems so far off.

When I was at the lowest point of my life, losing everything to my addiction, I knew cognitively that life would get better in recovery, but I couldn’t feel it. I couldn’t live as if it were true, because I was consumed by the immediacy of my misery. I wanted everything to be better right now.

This is faith though, to keep our eyes on God, believing that one day, every tear will be wiped away and death will be no more. We want everything fixed right now, but faith is accepting that even though not everything will be fixed in our timeline, one day, all will be made right. We may believe – in our head – the promise of tomorrow, but the challenge of faith is to live that way now.

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