In the Heidelberg Catechism, a Protestant confessional document, there is a question about how human beings know their misery. It’s an odd question, until you understand that the German word for misery is elend, meaning to be out of one’s native land, with a deep sense of homesickness.
Translation: when removed from familiar surroundings, a person is set up for misery and failure.
An interesting study was conducted on twenty pairs of normal children, age 15 to 36 months. They were tested in two experimental sessions to determine the effects of familiar and unfamiliar environments on the behavior. The study concluded that children that were forced into less familiar surroundings displayed far more disruptive and unpredictable behaviors.
Application: if you want to enjoy long-term sobriety, you need to place a premium on consistent habits, trustworthy friends, and steadfast effort.
Recovery Step: For those in misery, there is a sobering verse in the Old Testament that warns, “Your years will not come to an end” (Psalm 102:27). God offers a better way. It’s called recovery, one day and one step at a time.