Finding Jesus…In Alcohol.

Finding Jesus…In Alcohol. January 28, 2022

I had been drinking for days straight. I drank whiskey, alot of it, to try and quell the deep seeded fear and anxiety that I had felt for years. As a professionally paid Pastor, what if someone found out that I was an alcoholic? What if someone knew what I had been doing? Or worse, what if they found out that my ‘beliefs’ and ‘values’ were not what they were supposed to be? I sat in my car, questioning whether God existed, day after day. Week after week of preaching from the pulpit that “Jesus saves and you should come to know him” I was in a place where that was not my reality. I didn’t know him. And even if he existed, he would not want to know me.

I had arrived at a place where life didn’t seem to matter anymore and the better option was to take my own life. Selfish, I know. I sat on the railroad tracks waiting for the train to pass and wreck me and my car down the tracks.

How did I get here? What was the purpose of my life? Could there be more to this life than simply living day in and day out numb to the feelings that I so desperately wanted to suppress? What about my family? Would they be okay if I was not around?

The allure of drinking was stronger than the sweet breath of death and I drove off the tracks. I needed alcohol to feel something. I drank and drank until I passed out, waking up in the emergency room with alcohol poisoning. This became the worst night of my life in those moments.

Finding Jesus the “Right” Way.

My entire adult life was spent pointing other people to the Jesus of the bible. The entire ministry that I had was based on helping other people know and follow Jesus better.  Moreover, the entirety of my inner world was destitute of this same relationship that I touted as a way to be free. There was no freedom in my life. There were chains and shackles that I couldn’t shake, along with vices that gripped me so hard that I was not able to move.

It was in the days of recovery that I found Jesus. There wasn’t a moment when I read a verse in the bible and came to conclusion. There wasn’t a meeting of Jesus face to face. But it was when I became sober and faced the fears that I had quelled for so many years, that I was able to see clearly. The Jesus that had been a rule giver and an angry dad figure in my own life would become the God of my understanding. For the first time, in forever, I was able to see Jesus as I had always thought of Jesus. As a Savior. He saved me from those nights on the train tracks and wrecked my plans of wrecking my own life. For the first time, I had purpose that didn’t rely on getting paid by a church to espouse beliefs. Instead, there was life that I could live. And it was apart from the shackles of organized religion.

I began reading my bible. Praying.  And I began learning the lifestyle of Jesus. He completely changed my life in these days. Today, I am not as staunch in my beliefs or values. There is no need to argue with another person about whether Calvin had his theology correct. Instead, I rest easy in the fact that Jesus knows me, and I know him.

Today, I am grateful.

My Story is NOT Common

My story is not common. In recovery circles it is clear to me that the more common story is that the alcoholic dies by drinking, or by suicide. There are very few that get to enjoy the miracle of recovery and live the best life now. I encountered a friend in early recovery who was a meth addict. He was using daily multiple times a day, and had been court ordered to be in intensive outpatient treatment. He seemed genuinely wanting to recover. But one day, he did not show up for our meeting. A day later, I heard that he had used and had died in the hospital. This is the more common story among us. Taking a look at any drug and alcohol abuse statistical analysis, one can see that these two monsters kill more than they leave alive.

My prayer is that Jesus will save you. Experiencing his saving grace in your own life, will be one of the most rewarding achievements that you will ever know.

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