Social media shrinks our already small world and we all get a window into people's lives. Sometimes that window reveals a full lovely life and sometimes that window reveals what seems to be innocent fun and it's really the evidence of hurting, aching souls. There's a phenomenon of 30, 40 and 50 somethings posting pictures upon pictures of their glasses full of wine or the beautiful head on their beer or shot glasses lined up on the bar. Believe me, in another life when drinking was exciting and forbidden - my friends and I would take snapshots of our illegal fun. Back then, it was exciting and we'd have our film developed at a drugstore in the next town so our parents wouldn't find out, but today - it's not the teens who post, it's the moms and dads and grandparents.
I am no prude and no judge. I suppose this is a sensitive subject because alcoholism has nearly destroyed every generation of my family. Addiction is no respector of persons. Class, color or faith background all fall subject because when we decide to be the lord of our own lives, we reach the end of ourselves and we reach for whatever will numb our pain or whatever will blur our realities. Some choose a drink, some choose a pill, some choose to eat and some choose to shop. Whatever helps us a forget - just for a moment.
There will always be thirst. Jesus addressed this thirst over and over in His ministry. He addressed the thirst head on and wasted no time because He knew lives hung in the balance. Upon meeting a woman at a well, He proclaimed, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life."(John 4:13-14) Christ promises that He will satiate our thirst so much that we will never have to belly up to the bar again. Imagine being so full of life and peace that we wouldn't search and seek out the next high. While Christ's promise ends with eternal life and we think of Heaven, I believe He's promising us abundance right here and right now. Heaven amonngst the heartache.
We were all made to drink. When addressing the Church in 1 Corinthians 12, Paul said, "We were all made to drink of one Spirit." While this was a message to the ones who already beleived, isn't this really a message to all people? Doesn't every living thing require water to live? Doesn't every person on the planet thirst to feel loved and needed and wanted and to belong? Love, belonging and peace do not live in a bottle. There's no pill to swallow down that will reside forever in our souls. The drink and the pill leave the body, leaving us to feel emptier and thirstier than before.
Christ promises to never leave or forsake us. The drinks dry up and the friendly photo-bomber at the bar doesn't have the answers. We don't abandon our friends and we don't judge them when we decide to find our way, instead we love them and invite them along. Imagine a trip to the well where we meet the One who promises to fulfill the thirst, to fill the emptiness and provide meaning and purpose. No cost or cover charge. Just a simple yes.