Guest Post by Denise Barksdale
In my previous testimony I shared that I’ve been married to an alcoholic, (a recovered alcoholic, I should say because as God’s Word states in Romans 4:17 (NKJV)-God, who gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did. According to this part of the scripture, I will refer to my husband as a (recovered alcoholic).
As I stated in my previous story, for 40 years my children and I lived with my husband’s addiction. All praises go to God because nobody but Him kept us through all we went through, In the 2nd part of my truth, I wanted to share that for years I studied God’s Word, meditated on it, and talked to God about my concerns, As I ponder deeply into those years I thank God for bringing to my attention why my marriage was so painful. He let me know that yes, you studied my Word, meditated on it, went to church, fasted, and prayed. However, you grumbled about your husband when you cast your cares on me. You did not say what I said about your situation. That’s why I felt so defeated.
God also spoke to me through His Word shared by my granddaughter through a book I gave her entitled, Jesus Calling for Graduates. I was extremely elated when she shared what spoke volumes of wisdom to her in this book.
The topics she shared made me reflect on my errors in obeying God.
The 1st topic was: Staying the Course. God said in His Word, I will open up the way before you as you take steps of trust along your path. Scripture referenced, Proverbs 3:5&6.
The author stated, If you focus on the obstacle or search for a way around it, you will probably get off course. This statement made me think about Psalm 32:8,
That’s what I did for multiple years as I studied and meditated on God’s Word, I got off course because instead of saying what God said about my circumstances, ( in spite of how I felt), I said just what I felt, that I was so depressed about our children and myself living with an alcoholic. I also said and wrote to God that He was not directing our paths as He stated. For my daughters and I were miserable.
I would study God’s Word and always drift back to a grumbling mode, constantly asking God why He wouldn’t help us. God had an answer in His Word for every negative statement I made, but I didn’t practice meditating on His Word, I allowed the enemy to overwhelm me. As God states in Psalm 32:8,
God will instruct you and teach you in the way in which you should go. We have to allow Him to help us by thanking Him.
I’m so thankful that God never gave up on me. He taught me how to not only cast my cares on Him, for He cares for me, but He also encouraged me to ask Him to show me what to pray for, how to pray. and to ask Him to open my eyes and heart to all that He was doing through the difficulties
The 2nd topic in the book was entitled, Staying the Course. This lesson I learned after years of making mistakes. The 3rd topic instructs you to View Problems as Opportunities. I know God taught me and others so much wisdom through this topic. People who know my truth have encouraged me to ask God about a marriage ministry to witness and encourage others how to trust God in their marriage. The author shared that we should view problems as opportunities to rely more fully on God. I agree. She also suggested that we allow our needs to become doorways to deep dependence on God. She stated that reliance on God produces abundant living in His Kingdom.
The last topic was entitled Opportunities to Learn. The author stated that an ongoing problem is like a tutor who is always by your side. I interject that Our Faithful Father God is that tutor who is always with us through the good and the bad. There’s a spiritual song that states, oh what needless pains we bear all because we don’t take it to the Lord in prayer. The author also stated and I quote, “These problems are not random mistakes, they are hand-tailored blessings designed for your benefit and growth.”
In closing, I hope we all know that God wants us to embrace all the circumstances God allows in our lives and we need to trust Him to work these circumstances for our good. I also thank God for teaching me that He is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble, Psalm 46:11. I have learned multiple lessons through the past years. The most important lessons are that I can not live life without God. Not only do we as His disciples need to study His Word daily, but we must also study it, meditate on it, pray without ceasing, listen for God’s instructions, trust Him because He never makes mistakes, and love Him with our heart, mind, and soul. He is worthy of our praise and love. I am a true believer that our God is Sovereign, Holy, Righteous, a Way Maker, Miracle Worker, Promise Keeper, Light in the darkness, Jehovah Jireh, our Provider, Healer God, our King of Kings, Lord of Lords, Wonderful Counselor who is Omnipotent, Omniscient, and Omnipresent. He is Able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we can ask or think according to the power that works in us.
Glad to be His Servant,