For those who struggle with addictions and those who love them
A dear friend of mine died this week. Like one who has had an atrocious day at work, he was so ready to go home.
I was able to spend some time with him a few weeks after he received the news that his time here was drawing to its end. We talked about a couple of things that we had in common.
The first was that we both had a common enemy using a common tool in our lives that had the ability to pervert what God had intended our destiny to be. Satan was trying to use addiction as that tool. We had the bent towards using an outside agent to fit into an inside empty space that was only designed to be filled and satisfied by God Himself. Like salty water, it seemed to quench our thirst, but, actually only increased it.
The solution came through not looking at the alcohol or drugs as the problem but as the solution. Sounds paradoxical, yet, said another way, it is asking, " What were we trying to solve using addictive agents?". It meant looking at the root of the thirst, not at the fruit we were trying to quench it with.
If you struggle with common addictive agents, you are probably still reading this, but if you are tempted to stop because you don't suffer from these desires, consider all addictive agents aren't so tangible. One can be addicted to relationships, work, praise, accomplishments, and good works. It is a common enemy using uncommon tools. What works on one, may not work on another.
It was the second thing we had in common that made us friends and family. I realized that it wasn't the common enemy or his weapons that brought us together, but, it was being together in the battle and realizing that victory had already been won, which made us real brothers and friends.
We learned that victory could be had not through the fighting in our strength, but through surrender to God's strength. We accepted the fact the black hole within us could never be filled with anything other than God Himself. He designed us in such a way that only He could fill us in order that we could fulfill the destiny He had designed and delighted for us to walk in here on earth.
We ultimately learned that we were designed to be loved, to become love, and to share love. In sharing our lives together in Christ, we learned that love not given away is like any other gift not given, inert. So, we walked together and shared the news of the great Love we had found.
Our friendship was built upon an uncommon love from our common Daddy, not a common thief. I grieve the loss of my friend and our talks together, but I have a joy for him, for I know he is living the next part of his life...in perfect love and thus, perfect peace.
Mark B Weaver