Brand New Day
The Lord within her is righteous; he does no injustice; every morning he shows forth his justice; each dawn he does not fail . . . Zephaniah 3:5
For the addict, waking up every day to the same wretched reality, simply becomes routine. What was once voluntary and pleasurable, has now, like a cancer, consumed all that was once alive and beautiful. Death and darkness now envelope everything the addict ever loved as he knows only slavery to the drug. Though he desperately wishes to be anything else, he remains unwilling or unable to do what it takes to change. The addict hates himself, but still, he cannot imagine living without that which produced this living death in the first place.
Looking back, it’s hard to comprehend why I remained unwilling to confess, get help, and go to treatment. Waking up now every day, to recovery and life, brings me enough joy that I have a hard time comprehending why I had to be forced into recovery. Why didn’t I do this sooner?
In the closing chapter of Zephaniah, the prophet condemns his rebellious audience, but also insists that God still shows up every day, continually offering the choice to follow him or to continue in rebellion. With every dawn comes a chance at a new life – or a return to the old one. If we will do what it takes to follow God today, we may know the life he desires for us.
Why then do we so often remain enslaved? Unfortunately, it is the nature of our addictions to wrap themselves so deeply around us, that we cannot imagine living without them. The misery of breaking free seems worse than the pain of living with them, so, we limp along, enslaved to our self-destructive behaviors.
It is to this miserable condition, that God daily offers new life. Today, if we are willing, and if we will do what it takes, we may begin to abandon the old life for the new. Consequences are not undone in a day, and some things we’ve destroyed may never be restored in this life. We can though, if we are willing, know forgiveness, life, joy, and peace in God, if only we’ll embrace this new day and new life.