Turning Wine into Water

wine into waterWhen you first glance at the title of this devotional, ‘wine into water’ you may think I’ve inadvertently reversed words. The fact that I’m dyslectic makes reversing things a strong probability.  That’s not the case here. The words are in the order I intended. Let me explain.

Traveling through my beloved hills in eastern Kentucky, I was listening to country gospel music. I was semi-listening and only vaguely aware of the words. I had to do a second take when I heard the man in the song pleading with the Lord to change the wine into water. Apparently, the man praying was newly saved and had an alcohol addiction. With a bottle of wine in front of him, he had a battle raging inside. So he prays, “Lord, change this wine into water”.  Amusement with the lyrics soon turned into a sobering reality.

There are a number of men that have come to saving faith in our church-planting ministry in eastern Kentucky.  They have been heavy drinkers, alcoholics, for years. When they stop drinking they often get very sick. They get the shakes, awful pain, and other manifestations from alcohol withdrawal. The sickness and suffering is terrible and at times overwhelming. It seems the only thing that can stop the ‘sickness unto death’ is some alcohol. So in the song a new believer pleads for the Lord to take the temptation from him and deliver him this bondage.

Most of us, while not alcoholics, have had to try to exorcize some kind of ‘demon’ in our lives. We may be plagued with old habits that will not loosen their grip. We implore the Lord for intervention. Even Jesus in Gethsemane pleaded with His heavenly father to let the cup of suffering pass from Him (Matthew 26:39). The word’s of the prayer Jesus taught us to pray reflect this reality: “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil” (Matthew 6:13). The Message Translation provides a fresh look at those words we know so well: “Keep us safe from ourselves and the Devil.” 

The next time I find myself in a particularly painful situation and feel overwhelmed, I may find myself praying, “Lord change this wine into water”.

~ Brother Roy

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