Today I was thinking about addiction, sobriety, 12 step programs, medicine and other things that are involved in recovery and what it really takes to get clean and stay clean. There are a number of people involved in 12 step programs that don’t acknowledge Jesus Christ as their “higher power.” I understand the reasoning behind the “Higher power” talk in a way, but ultimately I believe it is only Jesus Christ that can make someone whole or sober.
My thought process went something like this. If Jesus Christ is the only real power that makes it possible for sobriety how are those that don’t acknowledge him doing it? I mean, I know there are plenty of people that are deeply involved in recovery programs that appear to be doing well without naming Jesus Christ. What’s the reason behind that?
As I pondered these things a story found in the gospel of John came to me. A story I haven’t thought about in a while. You probably know the one; it’s the one about the man that had been crippled for 38yrs. Jesus found him laying by a pool that was said to have healing powers in it but this man never could make his way into it in time. Jesus walked up to him and just asked him “Do you wish to get well?” Then he told the man to “Get up, pick up your pallet and walk.” As soon as he did so he was made well, picked up his pallet and began to walk.
It just so happened that this occurred on the Sabbath so some of the religious Jews questioned the man about his apparent illegal pallet relocation saying, “It’s not permissible for you to carry your pallet.” The man said, “He who made me well was the one who said to me, ‘Pick up your pallet and walk.’ Of course they then asked him who the man was. This is where I was going with this whole thing. The man didn’t know who Jesus was. All he knew was he had been made whole. Later on Jesus introduced himself to him and told him “Behold, you have become well; do not sin anymore, so that nothing worse happens to you.” The main thing I want you to notice is the man was made whole and didn’t even know who Jesus was.
So, for me I think the answer to how some seem to be sober without naming Jesus Christ is the same way this guy was whole without knowing him either. God loves us so much he will do things like this in our lives even without us acknowledging him. This is like when someone is ill or has surgery and becomes healed. You may thank the doctors, nurses, pharmacists and so on but if you are really healed it is only Jesus Christ that has done it. Doctor’s may operate or treat someone, but God is the only one that can heal you.
We may live for a long time as a sober or healed person and yet not give God the credit he deserves. To me this is just how good God is and proves to me how much he truly loves us. I heard once that God loves us so much he even lets us live our lives as if he doesn’t exist.
I for one am not advocating we stop thanking and acknowledging God but I’m just saying, he is so good and at work in our lives long before we ever think about him. He is patiently waiting for us to come to the place where we see and recognize his presence, but He’s God and he’s good even if some never do.
Written by Louie