Focus: Living by God’s power
1 Corinthians 4:20 (NIV) For the Kingdom of God is not just a lot of talk; it is living by God’s power.
When I was at one of the most desperate points in my life, God gave me the blessing of being able to meet with a pastor’s wife a couple of times a week for counseling. As a person who had always been intensely private, it wasn’t easy for me to just lay my life out there before someone I hadn’t known that long. Some days, I would be able to talk—other days, I didn’t do much more than hug my knees and cry. She would listen to me and pray for me—that the power of God would heal my life–that I would become whole again—and she carefully helped me take all of the needs I spoke of before the Lord.
At the time I came to her, my life was in shambles. I had practically no hope. I was hanging on by a raveled thread. I would lie awake in bed at night begging God to just let me die—only to wake up crying in the morning because I was still alive.
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There is one day I can still recall very clearly–even though many years have passed. It was the day—after several months of counseling–that would be my last session with her. I was about to leave the state where I had been living for the winter and return to my home state. I came to Nancy’s house that day with a lot of uncertainty and fear. She had become a ‘lifeline’ to me and I wasn’t sure how I would be able to make it without her encouragement.
That day, Nancy had me take out a piece of paper and write down five things that she wanted me to do. I was in the habit of writing things on yellow legal pads during those days and I dutifully wrote her instructions to me down on that kind of paper. I carried the words around with me for a long time. They became wrinkled and worn, and I’m sure I still have them somewhere. The words on that paper probably helped save my life.
She told me that I should make it a point to get outside everyday and look around at God’s beautiful creation–and take the time to notice the sky, and take deep breaths of the fresh air.
She suggested that I find something to do with my hands–a craft of some kind that I could work on that would help me see ‘progress’.
Another important piece of advice was to stay in ‘one on one’ counseling for a while.
She told me to get involved in a ‘recovery group’, where I would be able to relate to other people and get another kind of support.
Daily physical exercise was last, but not least.
There was nothing directly spiritual about anything on the list. Nancy knew I already spent a lot of time seeking the Lord, so she didn’t have to tell me to read my Bible or pray. What she gave me were some tangible things I could concentrate on, while I continued to recover and learn to live by God’s power. We can ‘know’ what the Word of God says—we can ‘talk’ about what the Word of God says and pray—but there comes a point in recovery when we have to dig in and put it to work…a point where we choose to walk again and trust God—that His power is really enough to sustain us and help us survive.
Declaration: I declare that ‘as I live’, the power of God will help me survive this battle and gain new strength.
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All NEW STRENGTH posts are Copyright by Christina Cook Lee 2012. Please request permission to re-post or re-blog.