For Those Who Want a New Life
On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being locked where the disciples were for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. John 20:19-20
My story is pretty simple. In following my way, I found the misery of addiction. In turning from my way to follow God’s, he’s transformed my life from one of disaster and hopelessness into one of peace and joy. I don’t live perfectly now, but in making a daily effort to point my life at God, instead of myself, he continues to transform me, daily replacing the old life with the new one.
This is what God does and this is what God offers to those who are sick of following their own way. Recovery isn’t just for the addict. Recovery from the old life is the process of transformation that God offers to all who turn to him. He made us to live in a profoundly intimate and real relationship with him. In following ourselves, we’ve turned from that relationship. The choice now is ours, to continue down the path of self, or, when we grow tired of our way, to turn to God, finding transformation and new life.
In today’s passage, we’re told of Christ’s resurrection, which is now the foundation of that new life. In the story, the disciples had been told by Mary that Jesus had risen, but still, they lived in fear and doubt. Then, Christ appeared to them, transforming all their sorrow and anxiety into joy and peace. In the presence of Jesus, the disciples were transformed.
This is recovery from the old life, and it is what Christ does for us, if we too, will follow him. The hard thing for most of us, is that though we want the new life, we’re not ready to abandon the old life. We’ll find however, that it’s impossible to follow both. Daily, we make the choice to go our way or God’s way. We will fail at times. Thankfully, there is always mercy and forgiveness for our failures. In following Christ, we won’t live perfectly, but we will be daily transformed as we follow the new life, recovering from the old one.