By Evangelist Linda J September 2018
Many years ago my favourite tipple on a Friday night after work was whisky and dry ginger or barcadi and coke. I could also down a bottle of the lethal drink ‘Thunderbird’ before going partying to get myself in the mood. My husband and his many friends loved to drink, this was how they socialised – this was 1980’s England after all. I can see that if it wasn’t for the Lord, I could easily have been pulled down that slippery slope.
Whilst occasionally I will have a glass of wine (say once or bi monthly …) my main drink now is the drink of the Holy spirit and how I thirst for this each day.
I work with a number of families where drink addiction has been the issue that has destroyed, caused harm or discord. I would also say my marriage ended because of my husband’s socialising and drinking and the impact on family life. I lost a work mate to this horrid addiction. She was a beautiful young woman who seemed at the time, as having everything one might desire in life.
As I drive to church in my neighbourhood, I see other beautiful young men and women wasted by drink. One young girl (one of my young people from my youth leader years). I see her every week – she doesn’t remember me- she cant her brain is pickled. Just a young slip of a girl – beauty faded -looking haggard, like a wizened older lady. The drink did it.
I see her and them, (those controlled by drink & other things), lying down in shop doorways, waking up, stumbling, with the can in hand – empty ‘can/tin bottle heads’, ravished by the devil’s own cup.
I write from a position of knowing the pull of a drink, but I so much want to convey Father’s heart on the issue. Sometimes my own heart feels hard from the culture and environment that is around, which we have created, which can stifle , immobilise and stullify. We are drowning in addictions. Does anyone see or genuinely care about anyone, anyway….?
Each week, I watch and wait. I watch and wait to see what he will say to me and what he will show me. I see the ones who stoop to save. I see those who turn their face and don’t give a damn.
Just a kind word, a hug , a word of care that is all it takes to be salt and light.
It is so easy to like those, who like us, look like us, talk like us, sit like us and smell like us. We are good actors and we pretend sometime to care, but we don’t. There is no heart. God knows.
It is easy to be offended by those who drink, but I know the pull of that past time, the packaging , the shape of the bottle, the label, the smooth liquid, the first smell which tells you where you are about to go….. I also know the ‘after smell’ , the foolish talk, foolish acts, the sting it has in its tail.
Those who live in a bottle (for that is their address ..) will be prone to attacks (mind and body) disaster (accidents and illnesses) disappointments (broken marriages, relationships and employment). But for sure, they pickle their brains, kidneys , liver with drink for a reason and then its too late.
I have never been addicted to alcohol, but I wrote this piece with many individuals in mind. I write to warn and also to comfort.
The old English adage – ‘many a slip…… came to me this morning . It can mean other things, but it sums up my thinking on the matter of drink – the mechanics and dangers of drinking – the enemy’s ploy to take us out.
It is a good many years since my first drink as a young teenager – I thought I was mature enough and wise enough to drink at 16 …. I have had many slips down the road in terms of life choices and yes have used drink for strength, to comfort and to quell fears.
Thank God for his grace and saving power to draw me away from the slippery slope of what might have developed into dependant, binge drinking. Let me tell you only Jesus brings comfort and can quell fears.
I want to write a prayer specifically for those addicted to alcohol this morning as it is laid on my heart.
Father I want to bring the issue of abusive drinking to you. You came to give us life, your life. We cant find it in a bottle.
Father teach us the good and perfect way for our lives. How to be, how to walk, how to lift our cups up to you, so that you can fill us, with that new wine of heaven.
We drink alcohol to feel good about ourselves, to drown our sorrows, to numb pain and to quieten insecurities. Some drink to fill the empty void or to block reality. Empty us of self whether that is pride or shame. Let us now face you.
Whether we drink or dont drink, let us not be the vessel that leads others to drink. Help us to open up and receive your word.
Wean us Heavenly Father from the cup of this world. Fill us instead with your own holy spirit.
You are our only sure foundation. All other ground is sinking sand.
We pray for ourselves and a nation drowning in drink and despair that you will heal it, at the head and at the heart.
The head so that wisdom is the principle thing in deciding on private and public policy about drink and drinking . At the heart, so that we ever respond in love to the ravishes of drink, dis-ease and disaster – the things which affect individuals whom we know, love and work with. Let us not be weary in well doing, hurt or look down our noses at others.
In moments of sobriety, bring those who are destined for Sheol – those who have signed a covenant with death, to their senses.
Wake us from our sleep, from the stupor, from the mediums, false gods, addictions we have used to comfort and to quiet our souls.
Help us to be that kind soul that reaches in and pulls someone out.
Let our gates be salvation and our walls praise.
Restore our city.
Restore our families. Heal our land.
Drive out the culture of abusive drinking by the power of your Holy Spirit.
Evangelist Linda J