AA speaker Dr. Mike presents a Big Book study podcast and thoughts on recovery

Thought on Recovery – No. 43 – Step 4 – Fear – The Great Promise

” Just to the extent that we do as we think He would have us, and humbly rely on Him, does He enable us to match calamity with serenity”- Page 68 in the big book.
This powerful sentence was what I saw in my mind while holding the phone listening to the news my son had died. I believe this thought came from God. It is in the few paragraphs looking at fear in step 4. I will spend this thought looking at the promise contained in this sentence and how it relates to fear.
This starts off with what we do. Extent in this setting means the thing or degree to which a thing extends. To what extent are my actions in line with God’s will for me. It asks me to act as God would have me. How do I know what that is? Step 4 is the beginning of looking at my thinking and acting in my life playing the director separated from God. It is the beginning of the process of removing my character defects. To have my acting in line with God’s will I must align my thinking to God’s will. If I am connected to God my actions will follow God’s will for me. Step 4 is the beginning of the process of conscious contact. The whole program is designed to have me act as I think he would have me. I use the inventory process to see and face and begin to remove the things blocking me from God’s power and direction and thus His will for me.
On page 85 it says I must carry a vision of God’s will for me into all my activities. “Thy will, not mine, be done” . To the extent I do that, I will be doing as I think He would have me! I must remove my fear and trust in God! If I am in fear I cannot act or do as God would have me.
Then it adds to humbly rely on Him. Humbly in this setting means having a feeling of subservience. From a sense of knowing that without God I am nothing. I need His power to live (see page 45). On page 87 there is the suggestion that I ask God to show me throughout the day what my next step should be and that I be given whatever I need to take care of such problems. Then I am not only humbly relying in Him but doing as I think He would have me.
If I do those things discussed above it is promised I can handle calamity with serenity. This ties in with the line on p100. “Follow the dictates of my Higher Power and I will live in a new and wonderful world no matter what my circumstances.” Serenity means peaceful, calm, undisturbed. Serenity is the peace I receive from God to handle circumstances appropriately. Remember it is the serenity I receive from God that enables me to see what I need to accept or what I need to change. This promise that no matter the circumstances of life I can feel God’s presence, power, and peace.
This promise has been true in my life if I meet the conditions discussed above. It came true when Curtis died. I knew I would, of course, feel much sorrow but on that morning seeing that line I knew he would be with me. He gave me the serenity to accept what happened and not be angry or blame anyone. It was his birthday 2 days ago, he would have been 32.
The day we buried him that night I asked God how I could make something positive out of this tragedy. Curtis died of alcoholism and drug addiction. God gave me the idea to do big book studies similar to Joe and Charlie to carry the message that people don’t have to die from this disease. There is a solution outlined in the book Alcoholics Anonymous. In Sept 2008 I started the experience the big book meetings.

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  1. Clancy on February 25, 2018 at 3:27 am

    Thank you.

  2. Adam Harmeyer on January 11, 2020 at 1:30 pm

    Thank you.

  3. Ian W on April 18, 2020 at 3:48 pm

    Thank you Dr Mike

  4. Janet McCain on December 29, 2020 at 10:02 pm

    This just came to me because I have been thinking about that Calamity statement of hope aswell. Along with Every day is a day when we carry the vision of Gods will into all of our activities. My son died nine days ago. He suffered from depression and addiction. I know without my recovery and feeling Gods presence every day through this I would be self sabotaging. Instead I have courage and Serenity. I have never had such heart break but Gods Grace is so Amazing. Just reading this what you wrote was my Higher Power letting me know how close He is.
    Janet M

    • Michael C on September 6, 2021 at 12:03 pm

      I am nothing without my Higher Power. It is through Him and by Him that I become free from the obsession to use, freedom from the bondage of self, and came to knowing that true sanity is allowing God into my life. For the price is surrender. I no longer have to get it. Rather I desire His presence in my life and humbly relay on it daily.

  5. Lisa J Stevens on December 3, 2022 at 6:22 am

    Thank you for all of your shares. I have a son who is 26 and is in an alcoholic depression. It is a reality that we may lose him to this life time. He suffers so, and letting him have his own experience and not interfering, trusting my Higher Power to do whatever he may is what keeps me grounded (most of the time). Thank you all so much, lisa

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