A Change of Taste
From his first waking moment until he dropped into bed each night, one desire consumed Bill. Sometimes he managed to work a full day. Occasionally he brought home a paycheck to his little wife to buy a few groceries for his growing family. More often than not, he didn’t make it home before squandering all that he earned.
He couldn’t remember the first time he tasted beer, but it hooked him in its devilish grip and he couldn’t break free. In his sober moments, he vowed to his wife that he would do better. Each time he passed a tavern or hung out with his buddies, his promises flew out the window.
One evening Bill walked in the door to dead silence. No sounds of singing from his wife, no playful chatter from the small children, and no whispering among the three older ones to grab the children and run for their lives, greeted him.
They were gone. He wasn’t drunk – he knew it wasn’t his imagination. But where?
He found the note on the kitchen table. “My Dear,” it began. “I have taken the children to a place where we will all be safe. I love you and I always will. I can’t put up with your brutality when you are drunk. I don’t want you to be a murderer, especially to one of your own children.”
He felt the slap in his face and knew he deserved it. “I’ve lost it all, because of my taste for hard drink,” he moaned miserably. To drown his sorrow and guilt, he slammed out the door, heading for the tavern.
Bill guzzled one beer after another until he was stone drunk and penniless. He staggered back home as dusk began to settle, vomiting along the way until his stomach was in knots.
Now he sat alone, truly alone. Even in a drunken stupor, he knew he blew it. Mary and the children had run through many cornfields in the dark of night to escape his fury. She was a strong woman, but his drinking finally took its toll on her.
He heard the door open. His wife softly stepped inside, surprised to see him sitting there. Before either could open their mouths to speak, a loud knock sounded.
Mary opened the door for two nicely dressed men. “Ma’am, may we come in and talk to you and your husband for just a few minutes? We won’t take much of your time.”
“Well, you can talk to me, but my husband is about senseless right now. He’s been drinking again.”
“Who are you calling senseless, little woman,” Bill mumbled stupidly.
The men introduced themselves as the pastor and deacon from a small church in town. They chatted briefly before telling their purpose for calling. Mary assured them of her salvation and they invited her to visit their church.
Bill, slumping on the couch, seemed a hopeless case, but tonight the two visitors were fighting for the souls of men. The pastor asked, “Bill, where are you going to spend eternity?”
“Probably drinking in hell,” he laughed foolishly.
“Sir, you may go to hell, but there will be nothing to drink there. The Bible says the rich man in hell begged for just a drop of water, but didn’t get it.”
“No more beer?” Bill perked up a little upon hearing that.
“Not a sip of anything.”
“Let me tell you about Jesus, who died to free you from sin, including drinking. He rose again the third day and He is coming back soon to take all His children to be with Him forever. He loves you with an everlasting love. He will never leave you, if you receive Him as your Saviour.”
A spark of understanding flashed in Bill’s eyes. Mary had left him and he hated it. He acknowledged he needed freedom from his sins. “What do I have to do?”
“Just trust Jesus. He already paid the price by His death on Calvary. Will you take Him as your Saviour?”
“I will.” The pastor led him in a prayer of repentance. Bill repeated every word he said.
When the prayer ended, a look of joy settled on Bill’s face. He truly had become a new man. Old things had passed away. He received a brand new taste for abundant life in Jesus Christ.
He never drank another drop of liquor the rest of his life.
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