Power To Overcome Addiction

Title: Power To Overcome Addiction
Category: Testimony
Subject: Addiction; Alcoholism; Drugs

[Note from the Editor of PastorLife: The following is a testimony from a man who is a member of a Sunday Class led by Dr. Paul Brown. This testimony is important, especially at a time when our nation is dealing with a drug and alcohol epidemic.]


Third Step

“Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him”Alcoholics Anonymous page 59

Third Step Prayer

“God, I offer myself to Thee-to build with me and to do with me as Thou wilt. Relieve me of the bondage of self, that I may better do Thy will. Take away my difficulties, that victory over them may bear witness to those I would help of Thy Power, Thy Love and Thy Way of Life. May I do Thy will always.”

Alcoholics Anonymous page 63

When I work with a new AA member, I always warn them before taking this step to pray sincerely and then fasten their seat belts because God will take them places and show them things they could not have imagined. Also, it is implied in that prayer that there will be difficulties along the way where God will take the opportunity to show Himself powerful and loving. Sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly, but always right on time.

Sometimes quickly

When we were missionaries in Cambodia, I was privileged to go with a medical team to a Vietnamese water village on the Sap river. We set up our clinic in the village chieftain’s home and began seeing patients. At midday, he insisted that he be allowed to serve us lunch. We sat on the floor where a meal had been prepared for us. I looked at my plate and then to the river and back to the plate. Knowing what was in the river and where that plate had been washed, I had a sense of what might be in my future. We were there to share the love of Christ and to reject this act of kindness would be a cultural insult and would lead to a rejection of our message. So, I silently said the missionary prayer (Lord, I’ll get it down if You’ll keep it down.) and partook of what was offered. Within two days, I was in bed and my world consisted of the bed and the bathroom. I recovered and got to see the bigger picture. Our team was welcomed back to the village. The chieftain accepted Christ as Savior along with many others and eventually his home became the church where the new believers came to worship and learn. In times of meditation, I was able to see that a couple of days of inconvenience were a very small price to pay so my Lord could receive the praise of these beautiful people. My small victory, His eternal saving grace.

Sometimes slowly

In 2009, I was first diagnosed with my first cancer. That required radical surgery and eventually radiation over the next three years to effect a cure. When it was almost time to be released from my doctor’s care, a different form of cancer was discovered. This required several procedures and two series of chemical treatments over the ensuing 3-4 years. As one might imagine, I have come to know my doctor and his staff well over these past eight years from my initial visit to my most recent return to his clinic. Not only is he aware of my battle with cancer, he knows of my addiction to alcohol and of my recovery. In the process, I have learned of similar battles in his family and in the families of his staff. On my latest visit, I was deemed to be cancer free and would not have to return for a year. After being examined and told the good news, the doctor and his nurse didn’t leave the room. Maybe I was the last patient of the day or it was just time, buy they seemed open to what I wanted to share. For the next 30 minutes I shared what God has done in my life. How He delivered me from addiction 38 years ago, restored my marriage and family. How He allowed me to finish a military career with honor. How He allowed me to go halfway around the world to make amends. To offer hope. I left the office with an appointment for next year and left behind a CD that tells my whole story. In a time of meditation, I was shown how God could use cancer to carry His message where I could not have gone without it. How the messenger can be unaware of the big picture and have his faith tested. In the eternal scope of things, cancer; recurrent cancer; different cancer; surgery; radiation; chemicals are such a small price to pay for the opportunity to share God’s love. Today I’m cancer free and awaiting my next opportunity. Praise God in all things.

Rick A.