June 5, 2021 – One young man, relatively new to recovery, talked about how he always saw religion, God and prayer as something for the weak, for those who need a crutch and can’t do it on their own. Each time he stumbled, each time he fell, he continued to choose fear over faith. Only when he hit rock bottom did he realize that surrendering and submitting to God is a sign of strength, not of weakness. He began to pray daily and though he was an atheist his whole life, he now realizes that the only way he can find the strength to stay sober is by choosing God. I was reminded of the story of a young girl and her father who were walking along a forest path. At some point, they came across a large tree branch. The girl asked her father, “If I try, do you think I could move that branch?” Her father replied, “I am sure you can, if you use all your strength.” The girl tried her best to lift or push the branch, but she was not strong enough. She said, with disappointment, “You were wrong, Dad. I can’t move it.” “Try again with all your strength,” replied her father. Again, the girl tried hard to push the branch. She struggled but it did not move. “Dad, I cannot do it,” said the girl. Finally, her father said, “My daughter, I advised you to use ‘all your strength,’ but you didn’t. You didn’t ask for my help.”

Using all of our strength means seeing ourselves as dependent, not independent, as needing God, not living without Him. A woman described her last memory when addicted to alcohol was yelling and cursing at her young daughter who was asking her not to take the next drink. She ended up in rehab, worked the steps including this third one, and when she surrendered to God and turned to Him for help, her life turned around.


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