Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

Joseph answered Pharaoh, “It is not in me; God will give Pharaoh a favorable answer.” Genesis 41:16

It’s early Christmas morning and as usual, I’m up early alone, reflecting on my thoughts of the last 24 hours. Yesterday, we went to the Vikings game as our family Christmas gift. It was a grand time and, as we drove off to dinner, we happened to pass by Minnesota Adult and Teen Challenge, where I went to treatment back in 2014. Driving by that facility always sparks an overwhelming feeling of gratitude for where God has brought my life. The campus lies just off the interstate, and I can so clearly remember the feelings of despair I had while watching other families drive down the freeway together. I so badly wanted to be with my family for a normal outing – like going to a Vikings game – but at that point, it seemed obvious that we’d never be a normal family again. I’d caused such profound destruction in my addiction that my marriage and career appeared to be over.

So, you can see why it was such a moment of obvious redemption when we drove by that facility together after spending the afternoon at the Vikings game. Honestly, it didn’t even matter that they lost (gasp!) – I was with my family and nothing else mattered. So, how did we get from the disaster of my addiction to this Christmas day where I’m sober and we’re all together? I’ll answer that in a moment.

First though, I’ll address today’s passage, in which Joseph (Old Testament Joseph, not Christmas story Joseph) was released from his Egyptian prison and brought before the Pharaoh who asked if Joseph could interpret a strange dream. Joseph told Pharaoh that he had no skills at interpreting dreams, but that God could reveal the dream’s meaning. It was important to Joseph that Pharaoh understood where the knowledge and power came from. Joseph didn’t point to himself, but rather to God, because he grasped the reality that everything he had and did, came from God.

And that, of course, is my point on this Christmas day. It was following me that led to my disaster of nine years ago and the only reason I sit here today, writing about a wonderful day with my family, is because of God’s work in my life. It would be profoundly dishonest if I pointed at my recovery and said – I did this. Yes, I had to daily choose to follow God to get here, but I must be honest enough to proclaim that it has been God who has led me to this place. As he has given me new life, so I must point others to him. My way is death. God’s way is life. If you too desire the new life, then get up and start following him today.

Merry Christmas!

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