1 Corinthians 10:13
New Living Translation (NLT)
13 The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.
As I experienced the 54 day revival, I found myself saying many times, “Hmmm….Really? That’s now what I was taught.” I discovered several new things about God and how to see the scriptures for what they were really saying. Just recently a friend and I were talking about how God does not give you more than you can handle. We both agreed in that moment of conversation that this was surely Biblical as we had heard it over and over again in our lives. We had come to agree also that this sort of truth had been evident in our lives. Well! Let God show me a different side of things the very next day! I am reading a book written by Craig Groeschel called Wierd (yes I thought for sure it would just be review for me as I am kinda weird already) and in the very first chapter, right after I discovered that God gives us ample time to do the things He wants us to do, that I was mislead by the world’s thinking! Shocker! Go back and read the scripture above again….slowly. Okay let it sink in for a moment. Now, still think God chooses what we will bear? He has given us a free will and sometimes we give into temptation.
So not to take away from what Craig wrote, I will apply what I feel I gleaned from reading this news into my situation. When I was younger, before marriage, I was busy with the things of God (so I thought). I come from a divorced family. My dad (adopted) was an alcoholic until the day of my parents divorce when he suddenly just stopped after getting custody of me at age 16. Okay, God got be through adoption, divorce and witnessing alcohol abuse and I was okay. He found a way for me to come out on the other side of disorientation, feeling as though I had a handle on things. One thing I would like to point out is that I was not leaning on God for any of this, He just walked me through it hoping I would walk away with some life lessons, but I assure you the only thing I walked away with was that I was never going to get a divorce.
Now, having been exposed to alcohol addiction, you would not choose someone to marry who had that potential (see the lesson I should have learned?). If I was leaning on God at that point in my life I certainly would have made wiser choices regarding my mate for life. So through the art of temptation, I chose to marry a person whom I knew had a drinking problem and God allowed it. After embracing such temptation, I had to walk it out. Eighteen years I walked it out, not wishing I could go back per say, just praying for God to help me through. So many of us play the blame ourselves game over and over again and that for sure is just Satan playing his games to pull us away from the things of God. We have to come to the understanding that the choices we made may have been wrong, but we cannot go back to change things. We need to learn from our mistakes and grow in our relationship with God so that in the future temptations will be easier to ignore.
As my marriage dived into a pit of complete destruction, I still was not asking God for help. I had decided I had gotten myself into this mess and I would have to suffer the consequences of my actions. Boy did I have the wrong ideas about God if this was my thought process. God does not want us to dwell in places of unrest or self loathing, He wants us to get through the valley so we can help someone else NOT make the same choices in temptations. We are tempted daily to be more a part of the world than ever. Bars are everywhere. Television steals our time. Our schedules are so full of “things”. We are tempted to cheat on our diets and our spouses. We are tempted to try things we know are not of God. But, if we choose to be tempted, God surely has a way out already planned.
Towards the end of my situation, I had to lean on God. As I was screaming for mercy, God was making a way to mend the destruction that had occurred. I had no choice but to turn to the Father for help, I was lost and broken hearted. I hated what my life had become and I wanted out. My children were suffering. My health was deteriorating. I was frustrated every waking moment, I had lost my joy. My husband was so addicted to drugs at this point, our days were just consumed with finding money to get the drugs and then finding someone he could get them from. It was a nightmare senerio and everyday was the same and I still had to work 9 hours shifts and take care of two children while juggling all the things that go along with that trying to look like a normal family.
Now that the valley has been walked through, I can clearly see that God was there all along wanting me to seek Him. He wanted me to lean on Him for understanding and comfort, what was I waiting for? All in all I am now on the narrow road again. I choose not to drink. I chose to quit smoking. I gave up television 2 years ago for lent and have to watched in since. I am wearing a purity ring (as my wedding ring was destroyed one night in a fight) so that I am reminded that I am still married. I dress modestly so as not to make myself appear available. I am kicking the habit of swearing. I am truly trying to live a life worthy of being called a Christian. Yes, temptation is surely still out there and if I happen to fall into that trap again, I most certainly know God will help me out once I learn to lean on Him in the situation. What is keeping you in the valley?