by the Storyteller – Article | April – June 2020

A late friend of mine, a pastor, told me of his alcoholic father, how he used to hide alcohol in different places in the house. He would give the impression that he was off drink while sneaking it from under his bed or wherever else he would hide a bottle. A day came when he searched all his hiding places not realising that he had, had them all and not replaced them. His thirst was driving him crazy so he went into the kitchen cupboard and drank a bottle of disinfectant. It shredded his insides and killed him.

Another dear friend of mine told me of her father’s addiction to alcohol. One day he had problems getting the cork out the bottle. It must have separated leaving a part logged in the neck of the bottle but he was too thirsty to bother with finding a way to get it out. He smashed off the head of the bottle and drank it with all the possible splinters in it. I didn’t know there was such a thing as a ‘wet brain’ until this friend informed me. This is when the abuse of alcohol results in the damaging of the brain affecting such things as hearing or sight etc. 

We all know people whose lives ended or have been totally wrecked due to that unquenchable thirst for alcohol. Those of us who are not alcoholics may often wonder how one could be held captive by a spirited liquid but evidence shows that it happens. 

Thirst is a function of the body that was designed by God to save our lives. Thank God we can experience that need to drink called thirst. But, like every other wonderful thing designed by God for our good, thirst is one of those things we can abuse for example when we make it a slave to alcohol. God endorses thirst as a legitimate desire and points us to the good things we should thirst for. “On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, ‘If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink.’” John 7:37

Our souls experience thirst just as our bodies do but many try to use physical fixes in an effort to quench a thirsting soul. No physical drink or activity will work. Only Jesus can satisfy a thirsting soul. We must go to Him and drink. “Ho! Everyone who thirsts, come to the waters… And let your soul delight itself in abundance. Incline your ear, and come to Me. Hear, and your soul shall live…” Isaiah 55:1-3

Jesus speaking with the woman at the well again spoke of the waters that quench a thirsting soul, waters that He alone can give. “Jesus answered and said to her, ‘If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, “Give Me a drink,” you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water… Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.”’ John 4:10-14

There is a drink that kills and there is a drink that gives eternal life. Escape the devil’s trap today, choose to not be enslaved by any drink, food, addictive substance or habit. Desire the living waters that Jesus gives. Choose life and not death. Develop and taste and a thirst for the water that Jesus gives. Say no to the drink that causes you to end up broke, bruised, battered, confused, embarrassed and ashamed. Choose the free drink that gives life, dignity, fulfilment, peace that passes understanding and a joy that is beyond describing.