I Need to See My Need

I Need to See My Need

For by now I could have put out my hand and struck you and your people with pestilence, and you would have been cut off from the earth. But for this purpose I have raised you up, to show you my power, so that my name may be proclaimed in all the earth. Exodus 9:15-16

As a Christian, I’ve always believed that I needed God. I’ve not always lived that way though. In my success and self-sufficiency, I simply ignored him for years at a time, pursuing my will and my way. This led to the disaster of my addiction, where the illusion of my self-sufficiency was painfully revealed. It was only in the disastrous consequences of following me, that I came to truly acknowledge my need for God. I’d always needed him, but it was only in that profound loss and pain that I recognized my need. So, in desperation, I turned to God, which has completely turned my life around, transforming chaos and calamity into peace and joy. God used pain to awaken me from my self-centered slumber, so that I may live an appropriate relationship with him.

This was similar to God’s plan in today’s passage. In it, God warned the Egyptians of the approaching seventh plague, as Pharaoh continued to refuse to let the Hebrews go. God told Pharaoh that he could have wiped the Egyptians off the face of the Earth if he wanted. Instead, though, he was going to use painful experiences to shape them so that they may finally comprehend their right relationship to him. You need to obey me, but you refuse. So, this is going to hurt. Before I’m through, you will know that I am God (my paraphrase).

I pray something similar everyday now, when I think of those I know who’re struggling with chemicals. I pray that God will use the misery of addiction to reveal their need for him. I know that addiction brings loss and pain. I just pray that those addicted will recognize their need in that loss, turning to God, finding the life, joy, and peace that I’ve found.

I daily pray that I would continue to see my own need for God. After nearly 10 years of sobriety, it’s tempting to once again believe the lie of self-sufficiency. It’s tempting to gradually drift back to a life of following me. The truth though, is that I need God today as much as I did back in the disaster. I’m still terribly flawed. I still have struggles. It is my struggle that keep me dependent on God, living in a right relationship to him. I need my need. In recognizing my dependence on God, I daily look to him, attempting to follow his will instead of my own. And that has made all the difference.

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