I Cannot Live Without You
Jesus took bread, and after blessing it broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take, eat; this is my body.” Matthew 26:26
When I first started abusing pills, I thought I had good reasons. I was working odd, long hours and I needed to relax and sleep. Soon, I became dependent on the pills to sleep. Then, I became dependent on them to wake up. Eventually, I needed them to live. When I had to go without, I was miserable and desperately looked forward to the time when I could use again. In the disastrous consequences of my addiction, as I realized I was going to have to stop forever, I became despondent. How am I going to live life without my pills? I don’t know if I can do it.
In today’s passage, Jesus insisted on a similar mentality, only with a radically different focus. As he was about to be arrested and crucified, Jesus ate the last supper with his disciples. During the meal, he explained that just as it was necessary for them to consume food and drink for their physical sustenance, they must also consume Christ for their spiritual sustenance.
The grotesque, cannibalistic symbolism isn’t easy for me to understand, but I do understand this truth. Just as I once accepted the lie that I needed pills to maintain my existence, I now accept the reality that God is the answer to my life’s needs. Just as I eat and drink food and water daily to maintain my body, I must daily take in Christ to nourish my spirit. Christ is the one thing that I cannot live without and without daily spiritual nourishment, my spiritual life will shrivel and fade.
I didn’t get to the point of being dependent on drugs incidentally. I first had to abandon my daily dependence on God. I had to turn to following my own desires for my purpose and meaning. Then, in my spiritual famine, starved for joy, I turned to something else to fill the void. It was an artificial and temporary fix, but it provided immediate gratification . . . and profound destruction.
In recovery now, I’ve had to relearn the life of depending on Christ for daily joy, purpose, and meaning. I’ve had to learn that I cannot have the life I truly want without daily remaining dependent on God.