When Pain Meets Sobriety
Today I've decided to talk about the connection between pain and sobriety. To talk about one of the reasons why I believe God wants us to be sober.
First things first
God calls us all to be sober minded. One main reason why, is so that we are not weak against the enemy.
Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 1 Peter 5:8
The bible does not tell us that alcohol itself is sin; it tells us to be sober-minded. The bible tells us to stay away from strong drinks and to have self-control. There is not an object in this world that is sinful (Romans 14:14), but when we start to indulge in it and abuse it, that is when it becomes sin.
The reason why I chose to completely stay away from alcohol is because God told me to. He knows me, He knows my past, and He knows my struggles.
The word sober-minded in Greek is sophroneo which means to be of sound mind. Having a sober outlook that reflects true balance. God knows I struggle with balance in my life and He knows that one drink will eventually lead me to abusing it altogether.
Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit. Ephesians 5:18
Before I knew God I drank for the sole purpose of getting drunk and I smoked weed for the sole purpose of getting high.
The deeper meaning behind being intoxicated or high for me, was because it was an easy way to numb myself and my feelings. It made it so I wouldn't have to deal with pain and pretend like things were fine when they weren't. And when things got hard, it was my escape.
Lets get real
One of the reasons why I believe God wants us to be sober is because He wants us to feel the pain that comes with life. And He wants us to feel the pain that we or others sometimes create for us. Once we allow ourselves to feel pain, that's when He is able to start healing us.
So I'm about to be very real and vulnerable with you.
I remember one hard and painful night in particular. I remember it vividly. It was a night where I really allowed pain to set in. I allowed God to break down the walls surrounding my heart in order to truly feel raw pain. That night I let brokenness and pain truly penetrate my heart for the first time in my life. I cried out to God that night. I was hurting in my life, in my marriage, and I remember asking God why it was so much more painful now.
It was because instead of turning to a substance to numb it; instead of turning to suppression to hide it, I turned to God who allowed me to feel it. I allowed myself to surrender to God trusting that He would bring me through while mending my heart. It was the first time I was truly real with God as I told him my hurts and as I confessed my true need for Him. He was there to listen and then to give me peace.
That night He also used my situation to allowed me to feel His own pain. The pain He feels when we do not put him first. The pain He feels when we do not acknowledge Him and all He truly does for us. The pain He feels when we do not turn to Him so He can heal us.
Surly God is my help; the lord is the one who sustains me. Psalm 54:4
From the ends of the earth I call to you, I call as my heart grows faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than I. Psalm 61:2
Pain Strengthens Us
The reason why I choose to share such painful moments in my life is because I know I am not the only person who has them. We will have painful moments in our lives and we can either let it break us or we can allow God to use it to strengthen us.
I would not be the woman I am right now without nights like those.
Think of weightlifting. When people lift weights they are literally tearing their muscle fibers. That is why they are so sore the next day. After working out the body repairs or replaces damaged muscle fibers allowing them to increase in thickness. Growing muscles and strength requires pain.
God will heal us through the process of pain. He will use it to strengthen us and build our character. The only way to go through it is to allow ourselves to feel it and then find joy in the pain, which only comes when we seek Christ.
Pain leads to repentance
As it is, I rejoice, not because you were grieved, but because you were grieved into repenting. For you felt a godly grief, so that you suffered no loss through us.For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death. 2 Corinthians 7:9-10
God will use it all
Once God touched my life, He started to renew my mind. I started to develop a fear for the lord that kept me from my old lifestyle as I learned more about my faithful Father.
And if it wasn't for sobriety in the nights like the one you read above, then God could have never strengthened me through it.
It doesn't matter what your past looks like. Because once you come to God, He will use it all for His glory. Trust me when I say you are a new creation in Christ.
As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. 2 Timothy 4:5