One day as these men were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Dedicate Barnabas and Saul for the special work to which I have called them.” – Acts 13:2
Experiencing life with other Godly men fulfills me and makes up a vital part of my recovery and my life. Especially when they seek to make me uncomfortable. Like last week.
I journey through this life almost daily with Sean. He serves as my sponsor in recovery and my friend in every other aspect of life. Getting back to the uncomfortable part. We met last week for coffee. I noticed he was preoccupied.
“Hey, buddy. I have something I want you to think about.”
Ok, understand, whenever he starts a conversation this way, it usually doesn’t end well for me. I have experience with this. “Hey, buddy, I have something I want you to think about” typically leads into something that will make me extremely uncomfortable. So, I just nodded my head and replied, “Ok, what’s up?”
“I want you pray about sponsoring a guy we both know. I already meet with him for accountability. He’s committed to working on his First Step so he needs someone in recovery who can walk with him through his step work. The other guys meeting with us in accountability aren’t in recovery. He needs someone. I immediately thought of you, so…pray about it.”
My immediate response was…nope. I have too much going on. This is a bad idea. I’m full up for sponsees. Except, my other sponsees are advanced in their step work. They both lead meetings. They are both doing well in recovery. Damn it. Instead of saying no, I said “Let me pray about it.” And I meant it.
Barnabas and Saul were serving in the church at Antioch. They “worshiped the Lord and fasted.” Neither chased immorality, lived for self, or wanted to serve their own desires. They served the Lord. And the Holy Spirit called them out for something new. He had a new thing in mind for them in His timing.
I have found that God has a work for me. He called me to equip other men to live life in God’s community. My burden for men in isolation resulted from years of suffering in silence, separation, and despair. God gave me a desire to reach out to other men who believe the lie that God can’t forgive their sin nor can anyone else. My addiction fed on this lie. It lurks in my soul, just under the surface, held captive by the healing power of His grace and mercy through so many men that walk with me.
God revealed a new thing for me. A new man to walk through recovery with, a new way to reach past that shame to share my own story of transformation and obedience to His calling. I almost missed it. Even in my reborn state, my isolation and shame stalk me, looking for a foothold. An opportunity for me to descend back into a never ending cycle of destruction.
Thank you, God. You make all things new. Even me.