“They struck me, but I did not become ill; they beat me, but I did not know it.
Bible Reading: Proverbs 23: 29-35
“Yet again I will seek another drink.” As a recovered alcoholic, I understand this section of Scripture with crystal clarity.
The section starts out asking, "who has woe, sorrows, contentions, complaining and wounds without cause?" Looking back, I can see the formulation of such a mindset. I can see how I began to think and feel that life was “unfair” and how often I felt “injured without cause.” In fact, when I was sixteen years of age, I felt so overwhelmed by the 'unfairness of life', that I tried to gain a personal audience with God and let Him know just how I felt. Fortunately for me, God did not receive me nor allow me to “check out” of the life He had given me. So I turned to alcohol and drugs, and railed all the more about how rotten my life was. I became the person described in this section of Scripture.
Everything described in these verses came true. The alcohol and drugs bit me like a serpent and stung me like a viper. My eyes saw strange things and my mind became full of perversity. I was 'a walking dead man'. I eventually got to the point that I could no longer feel nor remember what I had done. For all intents and purposes, I was in a perpetual “black out” - I was among the living, but I merely existed from day to day. I sought only “another drink,” another 'high', to get me through another day.
I'm sure other 'recovered' alcoholics and drug addicts can relate as well. However, one does not necessarily need be a full-blown alcoholic or drug addict to relate to this section of Scripture. Additionally, there are many other “addictive agents” such as power, prestige, wealth, physical fitness, relationships, and sex; just to name a few. See the book, "SERENITY - A Companion for Twelve Step Recovery" by Dr. Robert Hemfelt and Dr. Richard Fowler, published by Thomas Nelson Publishers. You can also read the article -- Addiction and Addictive Agents -- for a more thorough list.
Regardless of what we use to satiate our fleshly appetite, we will continue to despair as long as we reject THE ONE in whose 'image' we were made. There is nothing on earth that can fill the emptiness in our life and in our heart. ONLY THE ONE who gave us that sense of perpetual longing, can complete us and give us a full, rich life. That ONE is, “Our Father in heaven…”