Easy as 1, 2, 3

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Such confidence we have through Christ before God. Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God.                2 Corinthians 3:4-5

I'm not exactly sure why my postings are taking this turn.  But, as they seem to have a mind of their own once I start writing, I'll just go with it.

I've been thinking a lot about 12-step programs since I wrote both "House of Cards" and "Do You Need ..."  Mostly about the steps themselves.  At one point, several years ago, I had written a book, "Twelve Steps For Life", as I see the steps so all-encompassing.  (Never published, I still believe in the words I wrote then.)

Some people know about the steps.  

Some don't or simply don't care.  Yet, there is such a value in knowing those steps.

They so follow the framework for living life as a Christian.  And when you have a chronic illness that has forever changed your life - they give you a framework to hold on to.

Let me correct that.

God gives you a framework to hold on to.

Most folks don't know that the steps started out with a religious base that was watered down (my words) to make it more palatable to folks who did not believe in God.  Often the steps are bashed for that reason.  But if one follows the steps - by the time you get to the twelfth, God is firmly at the helm.

Without really realizing it, my past posts have outlined steps one and two.

Step One: We admitted we were powerless over alcohol (whatever fits!  Our illnesses - our reactions without God ... ever so many things fit here!) ... that our lives had become unmanageable. 

Step Two: Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity. 

If you are reading this blog, I am fairly certain you are looking to God for help in dealing with your challenges - or you are at least looking to see if that is even a possibility.

So - today is 

Step Three: Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of GOD as we understood Him.

In my opinion, that is one of the hardest steps to take - either following the steps - or just in life.  But, isn't that what Christ asks us to do?

And how much simpler our life becomes.

Yet, I have to confess to balking, grabbing my life back, complaining about what is happening far too often.

That is when I have my framework to fall back on.

One.  Admit that I am powerless over whatever is happening around me.  (I told you yesterday - we humans hate that!)  But its necessary if you are trying to run the race without God's guidance at that moment.

"I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out." (Romans 7:18) 

Two.  Remember that God can help me through this.  

"... my grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." (2 Corinthians 12:9)  

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. (John 15:5)

Three:  Give myself, my life, my all - even the things that are making me crazy in the first place - back to God.

"... If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me." (Luke 9:23)  

"Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies." 1 Corinthians 6: 19-20

I'm not going to insult you by saying it's easy as 1, 2, 3..

It's not.

But it gets easier.

There is also a saying around the tables.

"It works if you work it."

I know it works for me.

Where will your next step take you?

Father God, It can be so hard to walk through this life of chronic challenges and pain.  Some of us are no longer even able to walk.  Yet, we must continue on as representatives of You. Thank you that we are brothers and sisters in You and that we can uplift each other along the way.  Amen and amen.

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