My name is Jim. I am an alcoholic. I’ve been recovered, or in the process of recovering, for 29 years. When I was just two weeks in, I asked for a deal with God. I’d give recovery everything I had if He would help me.
The next morning I woke up a free man, though a young and dumb one at that. God had removed my desire to drink and get high. Just like that. It was, in a nutshell, a miracle. I hadn’t gone 30 minutes without wanting a drink for years.
That’s a pretty big thing, though, right? Of course it is.
God will help with small problems as well. All I have to do is humbly ask (Humbly is the operative word in that last sentence, in case you missed that).
I have a massive project due tomorrow. I am beyond an expert in my field, but this one is hard. The specification manual is just one page shy of a thousand. There are more than 200 relevant blue print pages I’ll be responsible for, and I’ve only had a week to work on the job while attending to my other responsibilities as well. It’s an impossible task. The project is due Thursday so I need today to be massive so I can get the project completed.
I stayed up 20 minutes later than I should have but went to sleep 45 minutes before my wife wanted me to, knowing I needed to be up and at it today. That’s the discipline. But I woke up at 1:40 in the am. Just 3h:50m after falling asleep… and my mind started cranking up about the day ahead.
This is trouble. This is a recipe for me sitting out on the computer at 1:50 working on a couple of posts. I said in my thoughts, “God, I can’t do this today. I need your help. Please clear my mind so I can get the sleep I need to do good things.” I laid down in my most comfortable position, straight on my back, pillow positioned perfectly and I was asleep 30 seconds later. I woke up at 4:28. Two minutes before my alarm went off.
I thanked God as I rolled out of bed and started getting ready. I had to be a little motivated, too, because I never sleep in that late. I had to skip my morning coffee, though I made a pot to split with my wife so I could take some in my travel mug. I didn’t write my morning post till I got to the office, then cranked it out in 20 minutes while checking emails and getting the office ready for everyone else to show up.
Now, there will be skeptics who would point to all manner of reasons it wasn’t an act of God to help me sleep. I know it was, though. I don’t possess the ability to fall asleep like that, on my own. It takes time for me to slow the thinking down – as much as an hour. Last night, the gears didn’t wind down to a crawl when I asked for help. They stopped. Immediately, as if someone stuck a wrench in the gears.
The other night, while out with my wife, mother and sister at a wedding reception, a glass of wine got to looking a little too attractive. It caught me by surprise (but not by too much). I asked God to take away any creeping desire. It was gone, just like that. I didn’t think about it again till just a few minutes ago.
And that’s how God works. When I ask for help fulfilling His will for me, I get what I need to make it happen. Every time, without fail. That’s how I know to go to the well when I need water.
So who’s right, me or the skeptic?
I say who cares? I’d rather believe and find out I’m wrong than not and find out I was wrong. Wouldn’t that be the biggest “oops” of your life? “Wait a minute, Pete. Those are some shiny gates… you mean all of that God stuff was real? Oops.”
You know that aphorism, there’s no such thing as an atheist in a foxhole?
My life as an alcoholic was one giant foxhole that I couldn’t climb out of alone… and my beliefs don’t require everyone’s participation. I don’t believe in tooting my saxophone on a hilltop, but I won’t be ashamed of or hide my beliefs, either.