Word 4 Today July 22, 2011

SUFFERING ALONE

I felt so isolated standing in front of a bunch of strangers admitting I was an alcoholic.  This was at my first AA meeting 25 years ago and at that point in my life I had lost everything of any significance and value in life: my family, job, home, self-respect and most importantly, any sense of belonging.  It was the end of the line, my final hope. It had come to this: either suffer humiliation and shame, or commit suicide.  I was certain I was the only one in the world who was going through an experience like this, but nonetheless, I stood up shaking from withdrawals and said; “My name is Alex, and I’m an alcoholic.” Suddenly, I heard applause and total strangers came up and hugged me, shook my hand, and offered me words of encouragement.  All of these people had gone through the same experience and knew exactly how I felt. They knew what I was going through.  But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you.  1 Peter 5:10

PRAYER 4 TODAY

Dear Lord, we all suffer along the way at some points in our journey with You.  We don’t enjoy it and sometimes we don’t understand it but it’s necessary in equipping us to relate to others.  If we have never walked in another’s shoes, how can we be expected to understand and have sympathy?  May we always understand that the things we go through are meant to perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle us.

THOUGHT 4 TODAY

Our pain was given to us to share, not hide!

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