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‘God Met Me There’: Max Lucado Reveals Struggle With Alcohol Abuse

Photo from Max Lucado’s Instagram

‘God Met Me There’: Max Lucado Reveals Struggle With Alcohol Abuse

By Movieguide® Contributor

Pastor Max Lucado is sharing his struggles with alcohol abuse and how he overcame it with God’s help. 

“I have had my own occasions in which I’ve wrestled with God,” he wrote in an excerpt from his new book, “God Never Gives Up On You.” “Seems we all could account for a divine wrestling match.”

Lucado spoke of a time 20 years ago when his church congregation was growing. He was writing books and finding career success. 

“What no one knew was this: I was a mess,” he explained. “The staff needed me. The pulpit required me. The publisher was counting on me. The entire world was looking to me. So I did what came naturally. I began to drink.”

Lucado began drinking in parking lots, writing, “That’s how ‘America’s Pastor’ was coping with his world gone crazy.”

“I told God I had everything under control,” he wrote. “The staff issues were manageable. The deadlines were manageable. The stress was manageable. The drinking was manageable. But then came a moment of truth. God didn’t touch my hip, but he spoke to my heart. Really, Max? If you have everything together, if you have a lock on this issue, then why are you hiding in a parking lot, sipping a beer that you’ve concealed in a brown paper bag?

Lucado shared his alcohol issues with others in the church, and “they did what good pastors do. They covered me with prayer and designed a plan to help me cope with demands. I admitted my struggle to the congregation and, in doing so, activated a dozen or so conversations with members who battled the same temptation.”

“God met me there that day,” Lucado said of his experience. “He gave me a new name as well. Not Israel. That one was already taken. But ‘forgiven.’ And I’m happy to wear it.”

He spoke further about his views on God’s grace in an interview with Fox News, saying, “I think the heaviest load to carry is the load of trying to appear perfect—this idea that ‘I’ve got to appear like I have it all together.’ That’s exhausting. It’s exhausting. It’s depleting. And also, it keeps us from getting the help and the healing that we need.”

“The Bible says to confess your sins to one another so that healing may come,” Lucado went on. “There’s a connection between confession and healing. And so the sooner we can acknowledge that we need help, the sooner we’ll receive help.”

Lucado continues to lean on God in times of stress and struggle. 

“Nearly nine out of 10 people you see walking down the street feel stress,” he told the Christian Post. “That’s not how we’re intended to live. So the Spirit gives life; the flesh is of no help at all. That is to say, my pep rallies, my self-motivation talks, that they’re not helping me. I need help from outside, help from above.”

Movieguide® previously reported on Lucado:

Author and church leader Max Lucado is opening up about how he has handled his ascending aortic aneurysm diagnosis. 

“As far as dealing with anxiety, I really spiraled downward,” he explained. The aneurysm, a bulging and weakening in the aorta, was “pretty large” and about “two centimeters shy of needing open heart surgery…”

The diagnosis came on a Monday. By Thursday, Lucado experienced a miracle: his health anxiety was gone. 

“I really felt, in a supernatural way one morning … I felt it lift,” Lucado shared. “I really did it just lift. And it’s not that I was healed, because I’m not, but the fear or the anxiety was lifted. And I attribute that to the Holy Spirit. I sought prayer and I received prayer, and so I can say now honestly, I do not live in fear of that.”

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