I was doing a Bible study a few minutes ago. The passages spoke straight to my heart. I needed to write about it, of course.
Their mother has been unfaithful and has conceived them in disgrace. She said, ‘I will go after my lovers, who give me my food and my water, my wool and my linen, my olive oil and my drink.’ Therefore I will block her path with thornbushes; I will wall her in so that she cannot find her way. She will chase after her lovers but not catch them; she will look for them but not find them. Then she will say, ‘I will go back to my husband as at first, for then I was better off than now.’ She has not acknowledged that I was the one who gave her the grain, the new wine and oil, who lavished on her the silver and gold— which they used for Baal. “Therefore I will take away my grain when it ripens, and my new wine when it is ready. I will take back my wool and my linen, intended to cover her naked body. So now I will expose her lewdness before the eyes of her lovers; no one will take her out of my hands. I will stop all her celebrations: her yearly festivals, her New Moons, her Sabbath days—all her appointed festivals. I will ruin her vines and her fig trees, which she said were her pay from her lovers; I will make them a thicket, and wild animals will devour them. I will punish her for the days she burned incense to the Baals; she decked herself with rings and jewelry, and went after her lovers, but me she forgot,” declares the Lord. (Hosea 2:5-13 NIV)
This speaks to me because I was unfaithful to My Bride. I hate bringing that up, but it’s true and I have the need to throw this out…
Therefore I will block her path with thornbushes; I will wall her in so that she cannot find her way.
When I was at the height of my acting out in my addiction, my world turned upside down. I lost all sense of self, all confidence was gone, I had numerous nervous breakdowns, my career fell apart and my marriage began to crumble. I distinctly recall praying, MANY times, for God to do whatever was necessary to deliver me from my pornography use and the behaviors that went along with it.
This recollection causes me to think I started this journey way back in 2008. I was in the midst of severe acting out. I wasn’t quite in the worst of my depravity, but it was getting close. I fully remember the pain and disgust I experienced when the acting out was over. I always threw up when it was all over. At minimum I would spend the next week beating myself up. I distinctly remember praying in the shower each day (that was my best time for prayer) pleading with God to deliver me from the pain. I finally began praying everyday for God to do whatever it took to free me of these behaviors. Of course, I never saw any progress or intervention.
Now, after reading that scripture, I’m convinced that everything that happened was God doing exactly what I begged Him for. He was going to take me to a place where I would have to either cry out to Him or die in the gutter.
God blocked my path, He withdrew His protection for me (partially) and I did the rest. I sank further and further into depravity and could not find my way. The actions and attitudes I was displaying were the seeds I was sowing for my future life. The next 5+ years found me wandering through the wilderness. In my despair, I finally cried out to God.
Hearing that, you may expect to pay $249. No way, today and today only, you get the scripture I cited above along with my analysis, all for the low, low price of $19.99!
But wait there’s more…
“Therefore I am now going to allure her; I will lead her into the wilderness and speak tenderly to her. There I will give her back her vineyards, and will make the Valley of Achor a door of hope. There she will respond as in the days of her youth, as in the day she came up out of Egypt. “In that day,” declares the Lord, “you will call me ‘my husband’; you will no longer call me ‘my master. ’ I will remove the names of the Baals from her lips; no longer will their names be invoked. In that day I will make a covenant for them with the beasts of the field, the birds in the sky and the creatures that move along the ground. Bow and sword and battle I will abolish from the land, so that all may lie down in safety. I will betroth you to me forever; I will betroth you in righteousness and justice, in love and compassion. I will betroth you in faithfulness, and you will acknowledge the Lord. “In that day I will respond,” declares the Lord — “I will respond to the skies, and they will respond to the earth; and the earth will respond to the grain, the new wine and the olive oil, and they will respond to Jezreel. I will plant her for myself in the land; I will show my love to the one I called ‘Not my loved one. ’ I will say to those called ‘Not my people, ’ ‘You are my people’; and they will say, ‘You are my God.’ ” (Hosea 2:14-23 NIV)
God did not abandon me, He was alongside me all the time. He kept me from going further I to sin. He made sure I didn’t go too far under.
When I cried out to Him, God scooped me up and began comforting and healing me. God NEVER abandons us. We have free will, so we tend to mess things up pretty severely sometimes. In my case, God kept Himself in my life, but He didn’t move until I did. I had to demonstrate my faithfulness and obey Him.
Recovery is not a sprint, it’s a marathon, 26.2 miles. In my recovery in about 3 miles in.
I’m putting my head down and moving on. I may not win the race, but I’ll be damned if I’m giving up. That ain’t happening.