Feb 11, 2009

His Power, My Weakness

But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. ... 1 Corinthians 12:9

This is a Truth that is hard to fully grasp until it has been experienced. Most of us know this verse and refer to it in diffucult circumstances, but I understood it best when I experienced it.

For 24 years I was a smoker. For the sake of clarification, I smoked cigarettes. I started smoking when I was 14. During most of those years I smoked a pack a day. Near the end of those years I was pretty close to 2 packs a day.

If you have never smoked then you have no idea how difficult it is to quit smoking. As a matter of fact, most smokers would like to quit but haven't been able to. It's an addiction, a strong addiction and a habit as well. Smokers will pick up a cigarette even when there is no urge because of habit.

I had tried to quit numerous times. I had tried the patch and other methods, and was sometimes a little successful for a few days at best. Eventually I got to a place where I could not cut back to less than 4 cigarettes a day when I was trying really hard to quit. I was persistant about it too. I prayed and prayed for God to help me quit smoking, but nothing.

Finally I had the thought that God was not as concerned about my smoking as I was. Not that He didn't care, don't misunderstand me. Just that it wasn't as pressing to Him as it was to me. I was making a bigger issue of it than He saw it. So with that I stopped trying to quit smoking. I didn't realize it at the time, but that thought came from the Holy Spirit. Now don't gasp at me until you read the rest of this.

A number of months past and God began telling me to quit smoking. Well by now I was out of the mindset to even try and I knew I couldn't because I had proven that in past attempts, so I pretended it wasnt Him. That Voice might be small but it sure can be persistent. It followed me, and followed me, and followed me. Now I want to add here that I did not hear once single sermon or comment from anyone, anywhere about smoking during this time. Just the persistent Voice pressing me to quit smoking.

I used to have a clock radio and would set it about 1 1/2 hours earlier than I wanted to get up so I could listen to three Christian programs that I liked. Most of the time I hit the snooze button but I did catch parts of the programs. So about two weeks of pretending that God wasn't telling me to quit smoking, the radio came on and the program was talking about the consequenses of disobedience to God. I hit snooze. The second program came on talking about the consequences of disobedience to God. I hit snooze again. The third program came on talking about the consequences of disobedience to God, and I jumped out of bed yelling OK I HEAR YOU! I wasn't yelling at Him as in disrespctfully, but to Him as I knew I had to listen to Him and stop running. Then I proceeded to have a discussion with Him about the situation.

To see how it turns out you will need to come back tomorrow. :)


Edie

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind ~ Luke 10:27

20 comments:

Proverbs 27:19 said...

Great cliffhanger!!!

smooches,
Larie

HisPrincess said...

Way to keep us coming back!

My husband is a smoker. He has given up numerous times, sometimes for 2 or 3 years. Yesterday he asked me to buy him some patches as he has decided to try again.

I have never smoked so I can't comment on how difficult it is, but I have watched someone I love battle with this addiction and I pray that niether of my children succumb to it.

Can't wait to see you next chapter!

Joy in The Truth said...

Wow...can't wait to hear what happened next! I'll be back!

And what a great reminder not to hit the snooze button too many times! :)

sailorcross said...

I'll be back tomorrow to read "the rest of the story"!!

Then, I'll tell you my own!

Beth

LisaShaw said...

Looking forward to the end of the story! You've become quite the little cliffhanger (smile).

I'm an ex smoker also. My Mother was a chain smoker and I started at 12 smoking the butts from her ashtray Ugh!! By 14 I was smoking openly and full time. I smoked until my mid twenties. Then deliverance came. I am grateful to God for that deliverance. Amen!

Bless you Edie!

Tammy said...

Edie,
I sure know how hard it is to quit smoking.I was a smoker for years,not heavy but I did like to smoke(both I might added).

I tried to quit many times on my own which last for a little while but I go right back to it.It was until God started to speak to me,like you said He wouldn't leave you alone.

Its been 10 years since those foolish days of mine and smoking the other,well I gave that up about 25 years ago. :)

Without God I can do nothing!

love and hugs~ Tammy

From the Heart said...

Thanks for telling your story. I have a daughter that smokes. I don't say too much to her, just pray for her. Hopefully she will hear that same voice telling her to quit.

Look forward to hearing the "rest of the story".

Dorothy Champagne said...

Love it! Can't wait to hear what happens. My dad used to smoke, he stopped when my older brother was born. I asked him why he even started. He said, "In the military, the only ones allowed to breaks where the guys who went to smoke their cigarettes." Then I asked him if he had ever got the urge to smoke again (it had been over 25 years since he had) and he told me, "all the time". What a great father I have.

B His Girl said...

I won't hit the snooze button on this. I know the next post is good. Thank you Jesus. B

Jody said...

God always gets the glory, through Him we can do all things. Looking forward to the rest of the story.

Debra said...

Edie,

I have a great smoking story too...I have never smoked but my beloved began at a young age too. When we met I even bought him cigarettes. But one day I asked him gently to keep the smoke away from my daughter and he looked at me and asked this question "do you not like me smoking?" to which I replied "no, I don't like it". He threw the cigarette down right in front of me and never touched them again.

The power of love, my friend. The power of love.

I can't wait to see how the power of love helped you ... I'll be back tomorrow!

I'm lovin ya! Hugs to you!

Tracy said...

I was a pack a day smoker myself!! For about 10yrs... I am thankful that the Lord delivered me... I could quit for the most part when I was pregnant, or if I got sick, but I always started back again...

Thank You Lord!!

Love you Edie!

Chatty Kelly said...

I can't wait to hear! I've never smoked, so I can't imagine the addiction, but I'm sure it is really tough. My mom smoked 4 packs a day, and my siblings all smoke. I just never had the urge. I did try it as a teen and didn't like. Thank God!

Barb said...

Ahhh.... the cliffhanger strikes again!! I REALLY need to learn how to do that LOL. I'll be baaaaacck!

HisPrincess said...

C'mon Edie!

I'm still waiting! Don't leave me hanging!

HisPrincess said...

C'mon Edie!

I'm still waiting! Don't leave me hanging!

Melanie said...

You hooked me, Edie. Okay I deserve it after having done it a few times myself!
Melanie@Bella~Mella

2nd Cup of Coffee said...

My mother lived through the Great Depression, World War II and all the other wars, the turbulent, nutty sixties, raised four kids and said quitting smoking was THE hardest thing she ever went through. She gives all the glory to God.

My ADHD Me said...

I'm waiting to hear the ending.
I LOVE the way you listen when God speaks to you.

B His Girl said...

I think we all are the fish on the wall at times. I am praying for MORE wisdom. Look at you girl...54 followers and probably many fly bys. Wow! You really better watch it. At least 108 eyes read what you write. Don't be pressured by that : ) I pray God will continue to do MIGHTY things in your life. b