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PJ's Blog

Asking for What You Really Need

Once upon a time, there was a man who suffered from an overwhelming addiction to alcohol. He could not hold down a job. His wife left him, and his children wanted nothing to do with him. The more he thought about his sad life, the more he drank, and the more he drank, the more he thought about his sad life.


The man’s elderly mother was a woman of great faith. She loved her son dearly and only wanted him to get well and have a happy life. Every day she would go to the local church and pray for him. “Dear Lord, please cure my son of this terrible disease.” Still, nothing changed for her son. One day while she was praying, she became even more distressed. She cried tears of despair for her son. To her surprise, a woman appeared and sat down beside her. “What is wrong, dear?” the woman asked. The mother responded, “I have been praying and praying so hard for God to cure my son, but God does not answer my prayers.” The woman put her arm gently around the mother’s shoulders and said, “Maybe God is not answering because you are asking for the wrong solution.” The mother thought carefully about what the woman said. Suddenly, she realized what she needed to do. She turned to tell the woman what had come to her, but the woman was gone. The mother fell to her knees again and prayed, “Lord, please help my son to want to get better. Give him the strength he needs to get well.”


So often we ask for what we think we need, and we become frustrated when nothing changes. Might we be asking for the wrong solution? There are often more steps needed to get to where we want/need to be. Some of you have heard me say, “God is not Santa Claus.” We cannot simply expect a quick solution without doing the things that will lead us to our goal. An occasional runner who wants to compete in a marathon cannot expect to simply wake up one day and run 26 miles without effort.


When it comes to recovery, the desire to stay sober must come first. Then, the individual must find those things that provide the strength to maintain that desire. There is not a recovery program in the world that can offer long-term sobriety without these two things.


The elderly mother in the story was given the wisdom to pray for those two things that her son needed most. My prayer is that you will do likewise for yourself and for others you know in recovery.


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