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In Loving Memory of Vic

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Need to get to a meeting and speak to someone right away? Below is a list of online meetings and resources to help you find a meeting and fellowship.

+ Alcoholics Anonymous Online Meeting Finder
+ Overeaters Anonymous Meeting Finder
+ Narcotics Anonymous Meeting Finder
+ Al-Anon Online Meeting Finder

Daily Recovery Readings – August 18, 2014

Just For Today
August 18, 2014
How Long Do I Have To Go?

“The way to remain a productive, responsible member of society is to put our recovery first.”
Basic Text, p. 102

The meetings have been great! Each night we’ve attended, we’ve gathered with other addicts to share experience, strength, and hope. And each day, we’ve used what we’ve learned in the meetings to continue in our recovery.

Meanwhile, life goes on. Work, family, friends, school, sport, entertainment, community activities, civic obligations-all call out for our time. The demands of everyday living sometimes make us ask ourselves, “How long do I have to go to these meetings?”

Let’s think about this. Before coming to Narcotics Anonymous, could we stay clean on our own? What makes us think we can now? Then there’s the disease itself to consider – the chronic self-centeredness, the obsessiveness, the compulsive behavior patterns that express themselves in so many areas of our lives. Can we live and enjoy life without effective treatment for our disease? No.
“Ordinary” people may not have to worry about such things, but we’re not “0rdinary” people – we’re addicts. We can’t pretend we don’t have a fatal, progressive illness, because we do. Without our program, we may not survive to worry about the demands of work, school, family, or anything else. NA meetings give us the support and direction we need to recover from our addiction, allowing us to live the fullest lives possible.

Just for today: I want to live and enjoy life. To do that, I will put my recovery first.

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Daily Reflections
August 18, 2014
GETTING WELL, p.239

Very deep, sometimes quite forgotten, damaging emotional conflicts persist below the level of consciousness.
12 & 12, pp. 79-80

Only through positive action can I remove the remains of guilt and shame brought on by alcohol. Throughout my misadventures when I drank, my friends would say, “Why are you doing this? You’re only hurting yourself.” Little did I know how true were those words. Although I harmed others, some of my behavior caused grave wounds to my soul. Step Eight provides me with a way of forgiving myself. I alleviate much of the hidden damage when I make my list of those I have hurt. In making amends, I free myself of burdens, thus contributing to my healing.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day
August 18, 2014
A.A. Thought For The Day

“We of agnostic temperament have found that as soon as we were able to lay aside prejudice and express a willingness to believe in a Power greater than ourselves, we commenced to get results, even though it was impossible for any of us to fully define or comprehend that Power, which we call God. As soon as you can say that you do believe or are willing to believe, you are on your way. Upon this simple cornerstone a wonderfully effective spiritual structure can be built.” Am I willing to depend on a Power that I cannot fully define or comprehend?

Meditation For The Day

We seek God’s presence and “they who seek shall find.” It is not a question of searching so much as an inner consciousness of the Divine spirit in your heart. To realize God’s presence you must surrender to His will in the small as well as in the big things of life.  This makes God’s guidance possible. Some things separate you from God–a false word, a fear-inspired failure, a harsh criticism, a stubborn resentment. These are the things that put a distance between your mind and God. A word of love, a selfless reconciliation, a kind act of helpfulness–these bring God closer.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may think and say and do the things that bring God closer to me. I pray that I may find Him in sincere prayer, a kind word, or an unselfish deed.

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As Bill Sees It
August 18, 2014
Love Everybody?, p. 230

Not many people can truthfully assert that they love everybody.  Most of us must admit that we have loved but a few; that we have been quite indifferent to the many. As for the remainder–well, we have really disliked or hated them.

We A.A.’s find we need something much better than this in order to keep our balance. The idea that we can be possessively loving of a few, can ignore the many, and can continue to fear or hate anybody at all, has to be abandoned, if only a little at a time.

We can try to stop making unreasonable demands upon those we love. We can show kindness where we had formerly shown none.  With those we dislike we can at least begin to practice justice and courtesy, perhaps going out of our way at times to understand and help them.

12 & 12, pp. 92-93

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Walk In Dry Places
August 18, 2014
Handle Today’s Problem
Living Today

Many of us face seemingly insurmountable difficulties, perhaps because of our compulsion or simply through misfortune. Whatever the scale of our problems,One Day at a Time and First things First, are keys to handling them.  Today, we can deal only with today’s problems. One of today’s problems, of course, may be worrying about the future. A good method of handling that problem is to turn our concern about it over to our Higher Power. But when we do have work that clearly should be done today, we must carry through with it. It’s neither reasonable nor sensible to put off things that we can and should do today.

There are certain tasks and responsibilities that must be dealt with today. I will not put them off.

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Keep It Simple
August 18, 2014

The Master doesn’t talk, she acts. When her work is done, the people say, “Amazing: we did it, all by ourselves!”

Our Higher Power works like the Master. Quietly. In fact, we usually take the credit ourselves!

We’re like the child who bakes cookies for the first time. Mother found the recipe, bought the ingredients, and got out the bowl and pans and spoons. She told us what to do, and finished when we got tired. Then she cleaned up after us. We proudly served our cookies, saying, “I made them all by my self!”

In recovery, our Higher Power helps and teaches us every step of the way, just like a loving parent.

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, thank-you —for my life, for my recovery, for love, for hope, and for faith. Thank-you for teaching me how to live in a better way.

Action for the Day: I’ll list five ways my Higher Power has acted in my life.

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Each Day Is A New Beginning
August 18, 2014

Today was like a shadow. It lurked behind me. It’s now gone forever. Why is it that time is such a difficult thing to befriend?
—Mary Casey

Each passing minute is all that we are certain of having. The choice is ever present to relish the moment, reaping fully whatever its benefits, knowing that we are being given just what we need each day of our lives. We must not pass up what is offered today.

Time accompanies us like a friend, though often a friend denied or ignored. We can’t recapture what was offered yesterday. It’s gone. All that stands before us is here, now.

We can nurture the moment and know that the pain and pleasures offered us with each moment are our friends, the teachers our inner selves await. And we can be mindful that this time, this combination of events and people, won’t come again. They are the gift of the present. We can be grateful.

We miss the opportunities the day offers because we don’t recognize the experiences as the lesson designed for the next stage of our development. The moment’s offerings are just, necessary, and friendly to our spiritual growth.

I will take today in my arms and love it. I will love all it offers; it is a friend bearing gifts galore.

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A Day At A Time
August 18, 2014

Reflection For The Day

As Addictive persons, self-delusion was intricately woven through almost all our thoughts and actions.  We became experts at convincing ourselves, when necessary, that black was white, that wrong was right, or even that day was night.  Now that we’re in The Program, our need for self-delusion is fading.  If I’m fooling myself these days, my sponsor can spot it quickly.  And, as he skillfully steers me away from my fantasies, I find that I’m less and less likely to defend myself against reality and unpleasant truths about myself.  Gradually, in the process, my pride, fear and ignorance are losing their destructive power.  Do I firmly believe that a solitary self-appraisal wouldn’t be nearly enough?

Today I Pray

May I understand that not only must I look to my Higher Power, but that I need to trust my fellow members of the group in this Step of self-evaluation.  For we mirror each other in all of our delusions and fantasies, and with there facing mirrors, we produce a depth of perspective that we could never come by alone.

Today I Will Remember

To see myself all around, I need a three-way mirror — with reflections from God, my friends and me

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One More Day
August 18, 2014

You may judge others only according to your knowledge of yourself.
–  Kahlil Gibran

We know that our behavior patterns may not be the only acceptable ones.  Many of us have spent the major part of our lives trying to please others.  We finally understand that there’s no need for us to reach beyond our own capabilities.

Now that our physical health is limited and our emotional health is stretched almost to the breaking point, we begin to realize that people around us may have serious problems of their own.  By reaching out, unselfishly, we can help.  Inadvertently, we will reap the benefits of our own behavior.

As I understand my limitations, I begin to know myself more intimately than ever before.  I am learning about my untapped potential.

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Alcoholics Anonymous
August 18, 2014
The Man Who Mastered Fear

He spent eighteen years in running away, and then found he didn’t have to run. So he started A.A. in Detroit.

Instead, he got dresses, took me out, bought me three or four double shots, and put me to bed. The next day he turned me over to a couple who, although neither was an alcoholic, knew Dr. Bob and were willing to drive me to Akron where they would turn me over to his care. The only stipulation they made was this: I had to make the decision myself. What decision? The choice was limited. To go north into the empty pine country and shoot myself, or to go south in the faint hope that a bunch of strangers might help me with my drinking problem. Well, suicide was a last-straw matter, and I had not drawn the last straw yet. So I was driven to Akron the very next day by these Good Samaritans and turned over to Dr. Bob and the then tiny Akron Group.

pp. 249-250

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions
August 18, 2014

Step Twelve – “Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.”

Compatibility, of course, can be so impossibly damaged that a separation may be necessary. But those cases are the unusual ones. The alcoholic, realizing what his wife has endured, and now fully understanding how much he himself did to damage her and his children, nearly always takes up his marriage responsibilities with a willingness to repair what he can and to accept what he can’t. He persistently tries all of A.A.’s Twelve Steps in his home, often with fine results. At this point he firmly but lovingly commences to behave like a partner instead of like a bad boy. And above all he is finally convinced that reckless romancing is not a way of life for him.

p. 119

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Xtra Thoughts
August 18, 2014

The only real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes.
–Marcel Proust

“The first recipe for happiness is: Avoid too lengthy meditations on the past.”
–André Maurois

“Act so as to elicit the best in others and thereby in thyself.”
–Felix Adler

“The key to everything is patience. You get the chicken by hatching the egg – not by smashing it.”
–Arnold Glasow

“Patience and perseverance at length / Accomplish more than anger or brute strength.”
–Jean de La Fontaine

Hold your head high, stick your chest out. You can make it. It gets dark sometimes but morning comes… Keep hope alive.
–Jesse Jackson

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation
August 18, 2014
ABILITY

“Man’s ability is derived from God and does not have to be acquired.”
– James H. McReynolds

I woke this morning and remembered that sobriety and serenity are gifts from God that are freely given. I need only discover them within my capacity to be honest. I need only seek them in my new attitudes. I need only discover them in the spiritual program from my life.

God is alive in my life and His acceptance of me is guaranteed.

May I continue to discover more of Your beauty in my life.

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Bible Scriptures
August 18, 2014

“Let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath.”
James 1:19

“The Father and I are one.”
John 10:30

“But the Lord is faithful, who will establish you and guard you from the evil one.”
2 Thessalonians 3:3

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Daily Inspiration
August 18, 2014

The more frantic we feel on the inside, the more compulsive we try to organize the outside. Lord, help me bring peace and order to my inner spirit by letting go of the past, bring resolution to the issues that are pressing and making a commitment to enjoy my life right now.

Do not be afraid to ask everything of God. He is always present and always loving us. Lord, I trust in You and ask for Your help in all that I do and need and want. I also ask for Your help in accepting Your answers when they are different than I would want or expect.

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Elder’s Meditation of the Day – August 18

“You have to have confidence in your own ability to be able to go it alone, to go against what the rest of the culture is doing.”
–Eunice Baumann-Nelson, Ph.D., PENOBSCOT

God, this is hard.
Today, allow me to be a Warrior.
Let me be strong.
Let Your voice be clear to me.
Let me hear Your guidance.
My goal today is to serve You,
to develop myself to be the kind of Indian person that You would have me be.
To Walk the Red Road must sometimes be walked alone.

Great Spirit, let me walk the Red Road today with the confidence that You are with me. If I fall, I will quickly ask You to help me know what I should do next.

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Journey to the Heart
August 18, 2014
Throw Away Old Messages

Who told you that you were bad and wrong? Are you still letting others tell you that– after all these years?

Listen quietly. Whose voice do you hear telling you that? Is someone still putting you down, sabotaging your happiness, preventing you from living and moving in self-acceptance, joy, and love?

Inhale and breathe in love, peace, and joy. Exhale and breathe out negative energy and negative messages. Feel them loosen, disintegrate, release. Feel your soul, mind, and heart become clear. You don’t have to let others take your power, rob your joy. Don’t become so accustomed to living with the pain of old, negative messages that you don’t notice how much they hurt.

Get rid of these old messages. Pull them out of your soul just as you would pull out barbs or knives. Pull them out on by one, then toss them away. You don’t have to work around the pain from these messages any more. You don’t have to figure out how to incorporate that pain into your life.

Allow yourself to heal. Find new messages than empower you with love, messages that set you free.

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Today’s Gift
August 18, 2014

Large streams from little fountains flow.
—David Everett

Somewhere nearby, no matter where we are, runs a creek. We’ve seen plenty of them, narrow and rocky. In summer it’s hardly a creek at all, but in the spring, it feeds a mighty river.

Each of us is like that creek, a trickle contributing to some greater plan. Sometimes we feel dried up, contributing nothing. Often we feel small, rocky, not up to the task – when we can understand what the task is.

Sometimes the task seems too simple – get up each morning, love and work and live the day as honestly as we can. What kind of contribution is that? Sometimes it seems too complicated. How much more we could contribute if we could see the whole river – where it begins and ends – if we knew what would happen tomorrow.

So we ebb and flow. And in our moments of contentment, we know we are doing the best we can each day.

What contribution, however small, can I offer the world today?

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Touchstones Meditations For Men
August 18, 2014

The years forever fashion new dreams when old ones go. God pity the one dream man.
—Robert Goddard

A painful loss can seem like the end of hope for us. It is true that the place a loved one had in our lives will never be filled. The loss of a job may dash a dream that will not come true – at least not as we thought it would. The aging of our body ends physical strength, and we lose options that will not come around a second time. Yet, change is a basic fact of life. We must empty a glass before we can fill it with something else. Our spiritual task is to become less rigid in our attachments and more accepting of the flow of life.

When we look straight at our losses and allow ourselves to cry and grieve over them, we are saying good-bye and letting go. Grief cleanses the soul and frees us to move on to new dreams. The loss of a job may put us in a position to discover undreamed of possibilities. In time, the loss of a love heals, and it deepens our relationship with our Higher Power and with our other friends. The other side of grief is freedom, and we are learning to have many new dreams in our lives.

I pray for the freedom that comes with having dreams in my life.

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The Language of Letting Go
August 18, 2014
Valuing this Moment

Detachment involves present moment living – living in the here and now. We allow life to happen instead of forcing and trying to control it. We relinquish regrets over the past and fears about the future. We make the most of each day.
–Codependent No More

This moment, we are right where we need to be, right where we are meant to be.

How often we waste our time and energy wishing we were someone else, were doing something else, or were someplace else. We may wish our present circumstances were different.

We needlessly confuse ourselves and divert our energy by thinking that our present moment is a mistake. But we are right where we need to be for now. Our feelings, thoughts, circumstances, challenges, and tasks – all of it is on schedule.

We spoil the beauty of the present moment by wishing for something else.

Come back home to yourself. Come back home to the present moment. We will not change things by escaping or leaving the moment. We will change things by surrendering to and accepting the moment.

Some moments are easier to accept than others.

To trust the process, to trust all of it, without hanging on to the past or peering too far into the future, requires a great deal of faith. Surrender to the moment. If you’re feeling angry, get mad. If you’re setting a boundary, dive into that. If you’re grieving, grieve. Get into it. Step where instinct leads. If you’re waiting, wait. If you have a task, throw yourself into the work. Get into the moment; the moment is right.

We are where we are, and it is okay. It is right where we’re meant to be to get where we’re going tomorrow. And that place will be good.

It has been planned in love for us.

God, help me let go of my need to be someone other than who I am today. Help me dive fully into the present moment. I will accept and surrender to my present moments – the difficult ones and the easy ones, trusting the whole process. I will stop trying to control the process; instead, I will relax and let myself experience it.

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More Language Of Letting Go
August 18, 2014
Say thanks for the help

There’s so much do-it-yourself talk. So much self-help talk.

Healing is a gift.

Yes, we participate in our gifts. If we’re recovering from chemical dependency, we go to our meetings and work the Steps. The same is true if we’re recovering from codependency or other issues that we might face.

We stand at each gateway and protest, “I don’t want this. I don’t want the problem. I don’t want the healing. I want my life back, the way it was– or the way I imagined it to be.” And we resist and struggle, but the changes fall upon us anyway.

We do our part, whatever that means to us, each day. Bit by bit, the next step becomes clear. A healing begins to settle in.

We receive our medallions for the number of days we’ve stayed straight or gone to Al-Anon. Or we go through an important holiday without breaking down and crying, because we focus on who is there, instead of who isn’t there.

We can feel good about the things we’ve done, the part we’ve played in taking care of our lives. But remember, healing is a gift. So is love. So is success. Feel good about doing your part in helping yourself. But a gentle thank you may be in order,too.

God, thanks.

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Daily TA0
August 18, 2014
Perfection

The hero comes down from the mountain,
Radiant with the power.
Yet one tussle with a dusty old man
Quickly tumbles him into the dirt.

In olden times, young men and women who wanted to be extraordinary trained in the mountains with a famous master. Away from all the distractions of society, isolated in the cleanliness, they remained on a high peak and did not come down until they had attained great ability.

Such people were heroes, the pinnacle of cultivation. However, in their subsequent wanderings in the world, such heroes would often come upon some oldster who could quickly best them. Whether in philosophical debate or physical skill, there was always some obscure wanderer who could outshine even the greatest of heroes. Why? Because the hero only had perfection, the strength of youth, and courage. The oldsters had the advantage of experience and wisdom.

There will always be people in the world better than yourself. Learn to recognize those elders who are wiser than you, and respect them. Know that you yourself will not be great until you have lived a long time.

To perfect oneself is difficult but not rare. To have perfect wisdom is rare indeed.

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Daily Zen
August 18, 2014

The water of the mind, how clear it is!
Gazing at it, the boundaries are invisible.
But as soon as even a slight thought arises,
Ten thousand images crowd it.
Attach to them and they become real,
Be carried by them, and it will be difficult to return.
How painful to see a person trapped
In the ten-fold delusions.

– Ryokan (1758-1831)

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Food For Thought
August 18, 2014
Self-Respect

When we were overeating, we did not have much self-respect. Because we felt guilty about the quantity of food we were consuming and the way we looked, we had a very poor self-image. Since we did not respect ourselves, we did not act in a way which evoked respect from others. We put ourselves down and allowed other people to use us.

Abstinence and the OA program produce a change, which is often astonishing. Our self-respect grows in direct proportion to the control we acquire. When we stop overeating and begin to live in accordance with the will of our Higher Power, we can accept and respect ourselves. Those around us respond to us differently as our own attitude improves.

What we realize is that self-respect and inner acceptance are more important than any external approval or disapproval. Instead of living for the admiration of others, we seek each day to follow the will of our Higher Power.

I am grateful for the self-respect OA has given me.

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Faith’s Check Book
August 18, 2014
Seekers, Finders

If thou seek him, he will be found of thee.
(1 Chronicles 28:9)

We need our God; He is to be had for the seeking, and He will not deny Himself to any one of us if we personally seek His face. It is not if thou deserve Him, or purchase His favor, but merely if thou “seek” Him. Those who already know the Lord must go on seeking His face by prayer, by diligent service, and by holy gratitude: to such He will not refuse His favor and fellowship. Those who, as yet, have not known Him to their souls’ rest should at once commence seeking and never cease till they find Him as their Savior, their Friend, their Father, and their God.

What strong assurance this promise gives to the seeker! “He that seeketh findeth.” You, yes you, if you seek your God shall find Him. When you find Him you have found life, pardon, sanctification, preservation, and glory. Will you not seek, and seek on, since you shall not seek in vain’ Dear friend, seek the Lord at once. Here is the place, and now is the time. Bend that stiff knee; yes, bend that stiffer neck, and cry out for God, for the living God. In the name of Jesus, seek cleansing and justification. You shall not be refused. Here is David’s testimony to his son Solomon, and it is the writer’s personal witness to the reader. Believe it and act upon it, for Christ’s sake.

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This Morning’s Readings
August 18, 2014

“Strangers are come into the sanctuaries of the Lord’s house.”
—Jeremiah 51:51.

IN this account the faces of the Lord’s people were covered with shame, for it was a terrible thing that men should intrude into the Holy Place reserved for the priests alone. Everywhere about us we see like cause for sorrow. How many ungodly men are now educating with the view of entering into the ministry! What a crying sin is that solemn lie by which our whole population is nominally comprehended in a National Church! How fearful it is that ordinances should be pressed upon the unconverted, and that among the more enlightened churches of our land there should be such laxity of discipline. If the thousands who will read this portion shall all take this matter before the Lord Jesus this day, He will interfere and avert the evil which else will come upon His Church. To adulterate the Church is to pollute a well, to pour water upon fire, to sow a fertile field with stones. May we all have grace to maintain in our own proper way the purity of the Church, as being an assembly of believers, and not a nation, an unsaved community of unconverted men.

Our zeal must, however, begin at home. Let us examine ourselves as to our right to eat at the Lord’s table. Let us see to it that we have on our wedding garment, lest we ourselves be intruders in the Lord’s sanctuaries. Many are called, but few are chosen; the way is narrow, and the gate is strait. O for grace to come to Jesus aright, with the faith of God’s elect. He who smote Uzzah for touching the ark is very jealous of His two ordinances; as a true believer I may approach them freely, as an alien I must not touch them lest I die. Heartsearching is the duty of all who are baptized or come to the Lord’s table. “Search me, O God, and know my way, try me and know my heart.”

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This Evening’s Readings
August 18, 2014

“And they gave Him to drink wine mingled with myrrh: but He received it not.”
—Mark 15:23.

A golden truth is couched in the fact that the Saviour put the myrrhed wine-cup from His lips. On the heights of heaven the Son of God stood of old, and as He looked down upon our globe He measured the long descent to the utmost depths of human misery; He cast up the sum total of all the agonies which expiation would require, and abated not a jot. He solemnly determined that to offer a sufficient atoning sacrifice He must go the whole way, from the highest to the lowest, from the throne of highest glory to the cross of deepest woe. This myrrhed cup, with its soporific influence, would have stayed Him within a little of the utmost limit of misery, therefore He refused it. He would not stop short of all He had undertaken to suffer for His people. Ah, how many of us have pined after reliefs to our grief which would have been injurious to us! Reader, did you never pray for a discharge from hard service or suffering with a petulant and wilful eagerness? Providence has taken from you the desire of your eyes with a stroke. Say, Christian, if it had been said, “If you so desire it, that loved one of yours shall live, but God will be dishonoured,” could you have put away the temptation, and said, “Thy will be done”? Oh, it is sweet to be able to say, “My Lord, if for other reasons I need not suffer, yet if I can honour Thee more by suffering, and if the loss of my earthly all will bring Thee glory, then so let it be. I refuse the comfort, if it comes in the way of Thine honour.” O that we thus walked more in the footsteps of our Lord, cheerfully enduring trial for His sake, promptly and willingly putting away the thought of self and comfort when it would interfere with our finishing the work which He has given us to do. Great grace is needed, but great grace is provided.

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