17July

Reflections on Sobriety

Reflections on Sobriety


There is a story about G-d speaking to the prophet Elijah.

‘Elijah, Why are you here?’ “Because I am moved by a zeal for the Lord…”
So, G-d says to him, ‘Go out and stand on the mountain for the Lord is about to pass by.’
Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart, and shattered the rocks.

But G-d was not in the wind.

And after the wind there was an earthquake. But G-d was not in the earthquake.
And, after the earthquake came a fire. But no, G-d was not in the fire.
After the fire – a still, small voice.” (I Kings 19:9-12) 



Wouldn’t it be great if G-d came to us in big bold moments? Moments that shatter the mountains and bring earthquakes and fire. Where we wouldn’t have to guess what is G-d’s will for us. It would be abundantly clear.

And in getting sober, it should be so clear what G-d would want for me. Of course, if my life is so unmanageable, then getting sober is the logical thing to do. But my life isn’t logical. Neither is my addiction.

In fact, none of my struggles are ‘logical’ and I would guess neither are yours. Taking a bird’s eye…, intellectual look at my life and of course. Eat your vegetables, clean up your room. Be nice to your spouse and your children. Help the old lady to cross the street. Stop drinking. Stop doing drugs. Take care of yourself.

Even Moses got a burning bush. G-d’s will became so clear. But that wasn’t a big, bold moment either. What was so remarkable about the burning bush was that it was on fire, but it wasn’t being consumed by the fire.

Now that takes a minute or two to see. G-d comes to us in a still small voice.

Written by Eric Miller, Posted in Counseling Services

About the Author

Eric Miller

Eric Miller

In recovery since 2008, Eric has a great deal of knowledge about substance abuse. He couples his experience with his observant Jewish upbringing to offer a Jewish lens to the issues of addiction and sobriety.