Every Day for the Rest of My Life?

Every Day for the Rest of My Life?

The people of Israel ate the manna forty years, till they came to a habitable land. They ate the manna till they came to the border of the land of Canaan. Exodus 16:35

The first two times I went through out-patient treatment, I was required to put together a Relapse Prevention Plan. To graduate from treatment, I had to say that I was going to go to weekly meetings, work with my sponsor, and engage in some daily recovery activity. How long will I have to do this? It annoyed me to think that I’d might need to work on recovery every day, indefinitely. Though I finished the assignment, I knew I wasn’t really going to do all those things. I just said what they wanted me to say. I was fine. I didn’t need to work on my recovery every day and I certainly wasn’t going to do it for the rest of my life.

Both times, of course, I quickly relapsed. I refused to work on my recovery every day and I discovered the consequences. Now, I’m fine with working on my faith and recovery every day, even if it means I must do so for the rest of my life. I don’t ever want to go back to that disaster, and if that means getting up an hour early to point my life at God, I’m fine with that. God has used my addiction to teach me daily dependence on him.

Though it didn’t involve drug addiction, God did something similar in today’s passage. In the story, as the Israelites wandered through the wilderness, God provided daily bread from heaven. Every day it was the same meal . . . for 40 years. For four decades, God’s people relied on him for their sustenance. Through this, God taught them daily dependence on him. Was it sometimes monotonous? I’m sure it was. Still, they learned to build their lives on God, who daily provided for them.

The Christian life, as prescribed by Christ, is one of daily abandoning our way to follow his (Luke 9:23). How long must I do this? This is an everyday thing – for the rest of our lives. This isn’t something we do only on Sundays or on a missions trip once a year. If our faith means anything, it means everything. Faith is meant to be our way of life. Still, it can be daunting to think that we must live differently every day for the rest of our lives.

In recovery though, I’ve learned that I don’t have to do the rest of my life right now. Today, I just need to focus on following God today. Tomorrow, I’ll do the same. That’s worked out pretty well for 10 years, so, today, I’ll do it all over again.

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