Who Finds Faith and Recovery?
They brought him all the sick, those afflicted with various diseases and pains, those oppressed by demons, those having seizures, and paralytics, and he healed them. Matthew 4:24
While enslaved to my addiction, I knew I was on a collision course with disaster. I desired recovery, but I struggled with translating that desire into action and change. I had a song, the lyrics of which, I would repeat to myself over and over. I Want this More than Life. I thought that if I could convince myself that I wanted sobriety, I could flip a switch in my brain and that my desire for the pill would evaporate.
This didn’t work. My tepid desire for recovery remained just a thought in my brain as I remained unwilling to get the help I needed. Confessing, going to treatment, and attending AA meetings was too painful. So, I changed nothing, and nothing changed. I grew frustrated and came to believe that I would never get sober. I soon discovered however, that I did indeed have the willpower to say no. I just hadn’t been properly motivated yet. In the pain and desperation of horrible consequences, I suddenly found the ability to radically change my behavior and stop using.
It often takes desperate circumstances to lead to a desperate change in behavior. In today’s passage, it was the sick, paralyzed, and demon possessed who pursued Jesus. He offered miraculous healing, and those who desperately needed it, desperately sought him. It wasn’t the healthy and self-sufficient who found Christ. It was those who knew how badly they needed him.
The lesson is that we often seek God only when we become aware of our need. The truth is, we always desperately need him. Our unfortunate reality is that we often only feel that need when we come to the end our self-sufficiency in painful circumstances. We must be honest about our perpetual need and in our need, we must not just hope for change. We must allow our need to drive us to action, desperately seeking God, abandoning our self-destructive pursuits.
When we desperately want something, we’ll desperately seek it. If we aren’t seeking God, then we’ve surrendered to the deception of self-sufficiency. The truth is, we need God every day. If we want to know faith, life, and recovery, then we should act like it – every day.