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Reflections By R oger Campbell Ministries

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Freedom From A Dangerous Drug

In London, a seem-
ingly hopeless alcoholic
was placed under the care
of a psychiatrist, but found
little help. A Billy Graham
evangelistic crusade was
being held in that city and
this hurting man was invited
to attend. There he heard
of God’s love for him and
responded to the invitation to
receive Christ as his Savior.
When this new convert
was about to fall asleep that
night, he reached for his bot-
tle to take his customary last
drink of the day but found
himself unable to continue
his old habit. Getting out of
bed, he emptied the bottle of
liquor down the sink drain.
When he awakened in the
morning he reached by force
of habit for his usual bracer.
It was not there.
Rather than responding with disappointment
or alarm, he found himself
breathing a sigh of relief.
He knew in that moment
he’d been set free.
Grateful for what he knew
was a genuinely fresh start,
this newly emancipated ad-
dict phoned his psychiatrist
and told him what had taken
place the night before. “I am
a new man,” he said.
“Sounds fine,” the
psychiatrist relied. “Maybe
I can find help where you
found it.”
This counselor in need of
counseling began attending
the evangelistic meetings
and was also moved by the
message of God’s love. Like
the patient he had lost, he
opened his heart and found
true peace in Christ.
Since the middle of the
last century, America has
spearheaded an international
war on drug addiction…
with few victories to rejoice
over. Our current “state
of emergency,” the “opiate
epidemic” of addiction and
death is but the latest in a
long list of such horrorsYet we must not forget
that alcohol use remains the
world’s most serious drug
problem by far. According
to the Lancet medical jour

nal, as reported in the Guard

ian, “alcohol use in 2016
led to 2.8 million deaths and
was the leading risk factor
for premature mortality and
disability in the 15 to 49 age
group, accounting for 20%
of deaths worldwide.”
But there will be no
international coalition bat-
tling the world’s favorite
dangerous drug. It is legal;
it is loved; it is lauded by the
culture. If progress is to be
made on this front, faith-
ful individuals in recovery
from addictions and others
who are honest and caring
enough will have to fight in
the trenches where alcohol
enslaves and destroys.
The list is long of those
who have been set free from
alcohol by faith. Among
them is Jack Odell, a former
director of Chicago’s Pacific
Garden Mission. Describing
the great change this free-
dom through faith can make,
he wrote:
“If there’s music in you,
you’ll sing because you
finally have something to
sing about. If there’s a book
in you, you’ll write because
you finally have something
to write about.
“If your gift is for
hard work, you’ll work as
never before: and happily
so, because your energies
are released and you have
an indwelling Reinforcer.
If your gift is for laughter,
you’ll stop laughing at cruel
things. Then your laugh will
become warm and conta-
gious, and other people will
want to join you…
“You’ll be alive and
creative and fulfilled for the
first time.”
Odell said it well because
he wrote from experience.
The vacuum in his life that
had chained him to alcohol
had been filled by faith and
he had been set free.