I recently had the opportunity to meet a man named Pancho Sanchez. I got to hear some of his story of what led him to alcohol addiction, and how he began alcohol recovery. While he talked, I began to see myself in him. I’ve never been an alcoholic, but I could relate to his pattern of finding himself empty and looking everywhere to be filled. It’s a pattern so many of us fall into.
Pancho said he felt an emptiness inside him. He tried to fill it with money, status, success. And he succeeded, temporarily. But that hunger wouldn’t be filled with success for long. Have you been there? Have you found yourself imagining that if only (fill in the blank), then you’d be happy, secure, confident, or maybe all the above?
Maybe you reached your goal, landed the promotion, or the got thing you were dreaming about. Except the high faded, the luster tarnished, or the dream ended. Then, you found yourself trying again, as if another goal, another promotion, or another thing would fill your disappointment. See? I told you most of us will relate to Pancho’s story. Addiction has its roots in the hunger of emptiness, loneliness, and pain. Recovery is found in openness, community, and in fighting through the power of the Holy Spirit.
I believe with all my heart no matter what you are facing today, Jesus has the power to help you overcome. Pancho found what he was really looking for: community, acceptance, and real satisfaction through his relationship with God. He found a place to belong. He found a way out. He found Jesus, and with Him, he’s in alcohol recovery!
“No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.” 1 Corinthians 10:13 NIV
Getting to meet Pancho has inspired me on many levels. First, it reminded me of the importance of inviting my friends—especially the ones who may be hurting—to find a place to belong, grow, and serve at church. Second, it reminded me how similar we all are. We may not all have an addiction, but we’ve all got a hunger inside to belong, to achieve, to be noticed, to be loved. And lastly, I’ve been so inspired to live like him. Pancho is leading his family to grow closer and closer to Jesus. He’s honest about his struggles. He’s working to serve his community. He’s exactly the kind of man I want to be.