Bishop's Letter: Who is Like God?
Mitch was at the lowest point of his life. From the age of 15, he had struggled with addiction to drugs and alcohol. He was involved in crime, unable to hold a job, and had reached the point that even his loyal wife had given up hope. His cycle of recovery and relapse had continued year after year to the point that he was alone.
I hate to admit this, but we had all given up hope on my son Mitch. And yet, we had not. We continued to hold him in prayer. We prayed that the person he had become would die, and seeds of new life could take root. That Jesus could transform his life to what I knew he was created to be.
When Mitch came to visit me in Arizona last week, we celebrated 5 years of his sobriety. When I asked him what his turning point was, he said:
“I realized…I alone was the problem. I stood in front of the mirror for what seemed like forever staring at myself knowing I was on my last chance and out of options. I either had to stand and fight for my life against this thing that was trying to kill me, or give up all hope and embrace my disease forever. I didn't want to be a failure anymore. Another failed father, husband, brother, son, friend. I went to the meetings and listened. I stopped running an à la carte recovery and did what I was told. Soon people recognized my effort and started helping me achieve my goals.”
If you are struggling with darkness, know that there are people in your life praying for you. We, your community of faith have not forgotten you. You are never alone. You are never too far for God.
If you are the one watching a loved one who is in darkness I urge you to keep praying, be persistent.
Dear God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, Courage to change the things I can, And the wisdom to know the difference.
Praying for death and glimpses of new life during this season of Lent,
The Rev. Deborah K. Hutterer
Grand Canyon Synod of the ELCA