Proverbs 23:29-35 (NIV) “Who has woe? Who has sorrow? Who has strife? Who has complaints? Who has needless bruises? Who has bloodshot eyes? Those who linger over wine, who go to sample bowls of mixed wine. Do not gaze at wine when it is red, when it sparkles in the cup, when it goes down smoothly! In the end it bites like a snake and poisons like a viper. Your eyes will see strange sights, and your mind will imagine confusing things. You will be like one sleeping on the high seas, lying on top of the rigging. “They hit me,” you will say, “but I’m not hurt! They beat me, but I don’t feel it! When will I wake up so I can find another drink?”
This Scripture, thousands of years old, reminds us that the devastation from alcoholism has been haunting mankind since grapes have been fermented. As this vexing issue plagues us still, it is important to remember that during this holiday season, relapse, overdose, and suicide rates due to addiction sky rocket this time of year. This family-focused time of the year strongly reminds us of our unresolved guilt, remorse, and shame from broken and strained relationships. Hopelessness and despair can run rampant.
It is important to be aware of this reality for our own recovery and for those we are blessed to mentor. It is equally important to invigorate our spiritual and recovery activities this time of year to avoid self pity and to stay focused during the many distractions and responsibilities of the season. It is ironic that so much death and suffering accompanies a season of hope and rebirth.
This holiday season, take time to reflect upon the virgin birth and the love of God it represents to all the world. God’s rescue arrived in a manger to conquer sin and death, and to restore us in every way. So remember, above all else – JESUS is the reason for the season!