I have learned this past year that when God sends you the same message from multiple sources in a short period of time, he is probably trying to tell you something or teach you something.
Last week in my reading of the “Resolution for Men” book, I was awakened to the concept that my children “live in my wake”. The book was referring to the concept that we live in the wake of our fathers. Our values, views, etc. are influenced by our fathers. Then today at church I heard a similar message regarding unconfessed sin, hidden sin, and respectable sins. The Pastor was making the point that we often deceive ourselves into accepting or believing that our hidden sin only affects us.
Before God brought me to my knees in brokenness, I had fully convinced myself that my problems were my own and didn’t affect those around me. I was a closet drinker. I hid alcohol in my car, in my shed, in hidden panels in my room, in the duct work of my house and I drank in secret. I became adept at drinking just enough to not appear drunk. I found ways to mask the smell of alcohol on breath. I found ways to hide any record of money spent on alcohol. I often stayed up late and drank in the dark by myself. I drank before church. I drank before bible studies, board meetings, classes, etc. Through all of this deceit, manipulation, lying and leading a double life; I had completely convinced myself that my problem was my own. Nobody needed to know about it and it really didn’t affect anyone else but me. This justification allowed me to lie myself into continued addiction and misery.
In the sermon this morning from Joshua chapter 7, Achan’s hidden sin eventually led to his death and the death of his family. In my life, my addiction led to me leaving my family and trading unconditional love for unrestrained self-destructive addiction. I essentially destroyed my family because I was not willing to face the reality of my secret life and hidden sin. My life was all about me. I most assuredly left a path of destruction “in my wake”.
Likewise, when I left the church, I turned my back on those who had poured their lives into mine trying to save me from myself. Close friendships were severed, bridges were burned…I separated myself from them all and left them the remains of my shattered family and the responsibility for keeping them afloat.
If you are struggling in addiction and have any notion that your problems are your own, please consider my life. Your life touches so many other lives. All those that care about you and love you are crushed under the same weight that you feel pressing in on you from all sides. Your pain, your misery is not your own. Your burdens are their burdens. Your struggle is their struggle.
Even if you are pretty sure no one knows your secrets, be sure that it affects every relationship you have in one way or another…and I mean every relationship. Who’s living in your wake? It’s time to rise up and consecrate yourself for tomorrow. There is hope to be had and joy to be received. You can have a different life.