I picked up an old Bible a few weeks ago that I used early on in my recovery from alcohol. It is the Life Recovery Bible.
The Life Recovery Bible has countless devotionals throughout the pages of scripture. The devotionals are based on the Twelve Steps from Alcoholics Anonymous. They are similar steps to the Most Excellent Way, but not exactly in the same order as MEW. Regardless, AA has worked for thousands and thousands of individuals throughout the years. But when I follow the devotionals, I follow them in order of the Ten Steps of Victorious Living through the Beatitudes, which the Most Excellent Way is based on.
I used this Bible a lot in the early years of my sobriety but I didn’t write a lot of notes in it. However, I do have one memory that I treasure deep in my heart . . .
Eddie Echarri was so faithful at teaching and mentoring me in just day to day conversation. He worked Jesus into everything.
And I just loved that about him.
I was house sitting for a lady I met at church. I was telling Eddie how I couldn’t believe someone would actually trust me to leave me alone in their house. I mean let’s face it – I was new in my sobriety. I had been a thief. A liar. A hootchie.
Who in their right mind would even trust ME in their home?!
And to stay overnight . . .
And swim in their pool . . .
And watch their television . . .
And sleep in their beds . . .
I just couldn’t believe it.
He took me to Daniel 4 – to the story of King Nebuchadnezzar. He told me about this man who thought so much of himself he put himself above God.
I was reminded of the time I stood in a bar and I had said I didn’t believe in God and THEN said, “IF there is a God then he is a male chauvinist pig and I will never bow to him.”
I thought a lot of myself.
Then he told me of how God humbled King Nebuchadnezzar.
God had to take me to a lonely place for me to realize I needed Him. He allowed me to see my anger and rage. He allowed me to see my ugly.
He took me to a place of surrender.
Then Eddie showed me how God not only restored everything to King Nebuchadnezzar but scripture says he was restored with even greater honor than before.
Humility was experienced and grace given when He showed me I needed a Savior – when I had to admit there was a God in Heaven and He actually loved me and wanted a relationship with me, in spite of my previous words and actions. And even through the mess I had made . . .God restored what I had burned and destroyed. Relationships were restored. Forgiveness was given and received on my part and the part of others. Grace and mercy has been shown and given . . .
As I read through Chapter 4, I couldn’t help but see the resemblance of the greatest sermon ever preached . . . The Sermon on the Mount – The Beatitudes. In fact, I see so much of scripture pointing back to the Sermon on the Mount time and time again.
Today, I am thankful for those who invest in me, encourage me, hold me accountable, and challenge me to be better. I want to encourage you to be that kind of person in another’s life. And I want to encourage you to ask the Lord to show you yourself in scripture. It’s a part of that sifting process I’ve been walking through. It will sure put things in perspective in comparison to the price Jesus paid on the cross.