Addicted to doesn’t mean the same thing as dependent upon. But it’s close, isn’t it? If I’m addicted to alcohol, my body will crave it, my mind will demand it, my cells will cry out for it. I need a drink in order to cope, to feel better or to feel nothing at all. Or, at least, I think I need a drink. I believe I need a drink. I turn to alcohol to help me, to save me. I depend upon it to do what it has done in the past…offer a momentary sense of relief.
Or maybe it’s not like that at all. Maybe, if I’m addicted to alcohol, I am in a cell and it is my jailer. I need air, I need food, I need water,… I need to survive but in order to do that I must get my jailer’s permission. Alcohol holds the key that must be unlocked if I am to live. I am its slave, its prisoner. I have no choice. I am captive.
Or maybe that doesn’t even come close to describing the bondage. When a person is addicted to something, they truly feel helpless to be free from it. Powerless. Unable. Somewhere, the friendly face became a tormenter. Enjoying something became needing something. Needing something became shackled to something.
Pornography. Food. Drugs. Alcohol. Sex. Gambling. Spending. Escaping. You name it.
My friend had been sober for seven years before the pain in her sons life overwhelmed her to the point that she returned to an old “lover” for comfort. At a wedding reception with her, I noticed the wine glass by her plate. “Are you drinking?”, I asked. “Yes!”, she answered with defensive strength, “it’s helping.” It’s helping. Alcohol or any other addiction may not be the answer but it is an answer. When the pain becomes too much, it can feel so much saner to run from it. But when we run from our pain, we run from our healing.
After another eight months gripped by the familiar hell of alcoholism, my friend has been sober now for two weeks. And two weeks is a miracle. Heck, one day is a miracle. She is receiving the grace to stop running.
I need grace as much as I need air. No, probably more. I cry out for grace. I am utterly dependent upon God’s grace. And he promises that his grace is and forever will be sufficient for us.
Though we can be utterly dependent upon God, we can’t be addicted to God. God refuses to be put in a box. He will not respond, show up, or come through for us in the way we want every time simply because he is too brilliant for that. He outsmarts us. He is a PERSON who wants to be known, loved and worshiped. Not controlled. Not addicted to. But pursued. Depended upon. And proven stronger than our addictions time and time and time again. One miracle following another, day in, day out. Healing upon healing. Grace upon grace. Glory to glory.