It is only day 12 of lent and in my own personal dessert, I am floundering. Dealing with addiction can be a little like pitching a tent and living in the dessert. This feeling of failing usually occurs when I am looking down at the cracked earth and remembering how little water I have. And, I understand how little strength I have to fight the enemies. I feel alone and powerless.
Jesus went into the dessert for 40 days. He experienced a lot of temptations but he did not waiver. His faith remained intact. The Gospel of Luke tells us "And when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from him until an opportune time." When is the opportune time? For me it is when I'm tired, trying to handle things on my own, not waiting and listening to God's will, and worrying because I think that I have control.
In order to take care of myself, I must give up myself....to the will of God. I must ask what my job is for this day, this hour, this minute. I read that God doesn't keep us from suffering he gives us peace during suffering. This is very true. If you detach from all things material and from your prideful selfish ways, then you will feel this tremendous freedom and God will give you the peace that he has promised.
I like to think of it like the "runner's high", which is experienced after going through a lot of pain but staying on course until finally despite how far you've gone you feel this euphoria. You have to go through a lot to really experience that "high". I think the same is true of the challenges we must all face. Many times we expend more energy trying to go around them than just to throw your arms out wide in surrender and walk in a straight line right down the middle of them.
This where you say, " I accept the pain, the fear, the humiliation, the unknown and I trust." Then, there is peace. Today, I pray that you recognize your vulnerabilities and create fewer opportune times for the devil to tempt your walk through the dessert. I pray for the addict in our lives and I pray for Henry.