The music played the sweetest melody you could imagine, but it didn't come from instruments, or recordings, or even a drunken delirium. It came from inside the heart of a very sober woman who had left behind a cacophony of alcoholic memories and replaced them with psalms of joy. It always amazed her how the Lord could fill her heart and mind with the most beautiful music, in her quiet times, when she communed with Him. Perhaps that is why the melody is so precious, so sweet. For she had also known the discord of being disconnected from her Savior.
That period still brings back dark memories of the voices she heard while in an alcoholic stupor.
"Aw, c'mon, you can drink another one. You can still cook, can't you?"
That voice in her head prompted her to fill the tumbler in her hand that was shaking so hard it caused the liquor to spill out from the glass. Trying to clean it up her stomach turned inside out from the smell of burning food cooking on the stove. To compensate she lifted the liquor bottle to her lips and greedily gulped down its contents. She welcomed the drunkenness that lessened the tremors and settled her stomach so that even the blackened dinner seemed acceptable.
Those were the days of wine and roses which eventually turned into a full blown alcoholic addiction.
It all started with a promise she made and broke as a young woman. She remembers the night well as she recalls it now. The doorbell had rung and she knew it was her new friend who was taking her on a double date. She quickly slipped out the apartment door, aware that he might see her mother who was sleeping off her inebriation. There was no way that she was going to let her date be privy to that. Inwardly she was morified and many times made a promise to herself that she would never touch the poison that was destroying the parent she loved so much. Ironically, that promise was broken that very night. The double daters sat in a cafe and her three companions ordered alcoholic beverages. Not wanting to appear different she reluctantly joined them. The promise was broken.
The years passed and the alcohol flowed. Marriage, the births of children, moves involving her husband's career and an addiction to alcohol caused the young woman to spiral out of control. A commitment she had made to the Lord as a very young child had been forgotten and in the anesthetic state of alcoholism it had no way of resurfacing. So, the Lord had to shake things up. It happened when the woman's seven year old daughter was stricken with a viral encephalitis.
The memory brought back images of the child coming home from several weeks spent in the hospital and then days in a wheelchair and relearning how to walk. The school system had arranged for her to be tutored at home and the day the tutor arrived was forever etched in the woman's memory.
"I'm Mrs. Rich and I'm going to help your daughter make up the school work she has missed."
And she did. But there was much more that was accomplished.
One day Mrs. Rich looked into the distressed eyes of the mother and questioned, "Would you mind if I ask the women in my prayer group to pray for your daughter's recovery?"
"Oh, I'd be so happy for that. Please do it."
She had never been to a prayer meeting herself, but she was certain that it was a good thing. She could tell because there was something so different about Mrs. Rich. You could see it in her demeanor and hear it in her voice. It was a spiritual thing, an unsung melody that reminded the woman of the Lord she had known as a child.
After much tutoring and rehabilitation the daughter left her wheelchair and the mother left the bottle and the tutor continued her faithful praying. And that's how the Lord mended a broken promise and brought an alcoholic woman back into fellowship with Him.
"And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord." Ephesians 5:18,19. New American Standard
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