My guess is that you are like me. I don’t know you, but I know you have heard/read about the untimely and tragic loss of the very talented Amy Winehouse. In many ways I suppose the handwriting was on the wall in terms of her demise, but that doesn’t lessen the sadness of a life prematurely ended because of a preventable disease.
Russell Brand summed it up well in his eulogy for Amy:
Now Amy Winehouse is dead, like many others whose unnecessary deaths have been retrospectively romanticised, at 27 years old. Whether this tragedy was preventable or not is now irrelevant. It is not preventable today. We have lost a beautiful and talented woman …Not all of us know someone with the incredible talent that Amy had but we all know drunks and junkies and they all need help and the help is out there. All they have to do is pick up the phone and make the call. Or not. Either way, there will be a phone call.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to Amy Winehouse’s friends and family, and even more importantly, her death should serve as an unmistakable reminder that we are all addicts…and we all need help.
Your addiction might not come in a liquid or powder form, but you use and abuse something in a vain attempt to quench a spiritual thirst.
When you think about it, every human being has an “addictive” personality. Our very nature is hard wired with habits, compulsions, and dependencies that serve as misguided attempts to experience a “happy” existence in the perplexity of this fallen world.
There is a woman who lived 2000 years ago who reminds me of Amy Winehouse. She wasn’t a soul singer, but the thirst of her soul caused Jesus Christ to walk 50 miles in the hot sun into forbidden territory so He could cure her addiction permanently. Here’s how this amazing encounter transpired:
He came into Sychar, a Samaritan village that bordered the field Jacob had given his son Joseph. Jacob's well was still there. Jesus, worn out by the trip, sat down at the well. It was noon.
A woman, a Samaritan, came to draw water. Jesus said, "Would you give me a drink of water?" (His disciples had gone to the village to buy food for lunch.)
The Samaritan woman, taken aback, asked, "How come you, a Jew, are asking me, a Samaritan woman, for a drink?" (Jews in those days wouldn't be caught dead talking to Samaritans.)
Jesus answered, "If you knew the generosity of God and who I am, you would be asking me for a drink, and I would give you fresh, living water" (John 4:5-10).
This apparently coincidental meeting was not a coincidence. Jesus knew that in this village was a woman who was at the lowest point in her life on earth. Her addiction was a string of failed relationships with men that earned her the title of social outcast, but Jesus sees people with a very different set of eyes. While all others viewed this woman as a disgraced outcast, our Savior sensed her willingness to finally be free of her crippling efforts to satiate her spiritual dehydration.
And not surprisingly, the cure for her (and us) is not found in a phone call, but in a step of faith and acceptance of the “living water” that Jesus freely offers from a limitless supply.
Of course people who are drug and alcohol addicts should seek professional help, but that is only half the solution. Breaking our addictions to temporary fixes meant to quench the thirst of our souls still leaves us with our helpless condition and our need for “living water”!
Perhaps today you realize that there is a craving for love, acceptance, forgiveness, and purpose that nothing in this world can fulfill. Like the woman in Jesus’ day, you keep going to that “well,” thinking that it will meet your needs. Trust me, the great Christ follower Augustine was spot on when he observed this truth: “You have made us for Yourself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they find their rest in You…”
By her own confession, we know that woven into the soul of Amy Winehouse was a restless addiction…and it is entwined in you as well. You may have already trusted in Jesus as your only hope of salvation, but you must look to Him to meet your everyday needs and rest in the reality of His unconditional love and forgiveness. In Jesus, you can exchange your addiction for freedom and contentment.
And when you do, don’t keep this amazing truth to yourself. Be encouraged about Jesus’ message just like the woman in His day:
Many of the Samaritans from that village committed themselves to him because of the woman's witness: "He knew all about the things I did. He knows me inside and out!" They asked him to stay on, so Jesus stayed two days. A lot more people entrusted their lives to him when they heard what he had to say. They said to the woman, "We're no longer taking this on your say-so. We've heard it for ourselves and know it for sure. He's the Savior of the world!" (John 4:39-42).
He’s the Savior of the world and He’s the Savior of you and me…
Thirst no more, my friend!
Flashpoint: Ignite Into Action
The sad passing of Amy Winehouse opens many doors to talk about the reality of death and the hope of life that only Jesus can provide. This week, pray for opportunities to talk to your “thirsty” friends about the living water that our Savior offers to anyone who will take a step of faith and trust in Him.
Accelerant: Fuel for THE Cause
Pray: Jesus, we pray for the Winehouse family in their grief, that you would comfort them in their grief and use this to bring salvation in You. We pray that we would all face our addictions and give them to You in faith so that we can partake of the living water you offer.
Read: John 7:37. On the last and greatest day of the festival, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink.”
Get: For help explaining the gospel to your friends, try sharing the video Life in 6 Words with them. Check it out, then pick up a hi def copy for your church or youth group at the Dare 2 Share webstore.