Ecclesiastes 5:18-20 (KJV):
“Behold that which I have seen: it is good and comely for one to eat and to drink, and to enjoy the good of all his labour that he taketh under the sun all the days of his life, which God giveth him: for it is his portion. Every man also to whom God hath given riches and wealth, and hath given him power to eat thereof, and to take his portion, and to rejoice in his labour; this is the gift of God. For he shall not much remember the days of his life; because God answereth him in the joy of his heart.”
I wrote this post, rather unwillingly, on May 17, 2016. I recall how difficult it was to sit and let my fingers be taken by the Holy Spirit. I wrestled. I’d been amiss from this ministry (this blog) where God used to steadily flow through me, for most of the 11 months prior. Some may have thought it was because I was in the “honeymoon” stage of my new marriage.
REALITY: We never took a honeymoon. Every time we planned a weekend away, he would find a reason to get angry and not want to go. There wasn’t really a honeymoon stage either; the signs of trouble started before we said ‘I Do’. I hoped and prayed that God would work a miracle…now I expect to see His glory through my tears.
I have not wanted, been led to, nor could my heart explore, publicly displaying the hurts over my marriage until now. Again, unwillingly, but obedience to my Abba is important to me…
Eating From God’s Hand:
May 03, 2016: I went shopping for groceries and a few personal items tonight and it was a joyful occasion. Please understand, I do not mean this in a trivial manner; it was the first time since late autumn of 2015 that I didn’t walk through the isles scrutinizing the cost of everything I picked up, was able to buy items that I really like, and able to buy personal items that I’d done without for some time, out of fear I’d get yelled at or be made to feel like a criminal for spending my husband’s money. For quite a while toward the end, he simply stopped even offering me money for anything. I praise Jesus for providing what little he did to get me through that time period until He opened the door to employment. (I’d been seeking employment for months to no avail.)
God led me to Ecclesiastes chapters 4 and 5 during my pre-slumber Bible reading recently, and I really had no clue why. When I’m in that place, I always ask the Lord to explain and he usually does, but in this case I was pretty perplexed. I sunk into my pillow, exhausted and didn’t think anything of it until the next evening.
I had just spent the weekend moving out of the home I shared with my husband. Home? No, just a place where we both coincided after a while. It was a place that became filled with an oppression I hadn’t experienced since I was a teenager (living under the thumb of an abusive step-father), nor did believe I’d ever end up feeling that sort of anxiety again. God had delivered me from all the layers of hurt and pain caused by that period of life, yet, I found myself recognizing it in my life, in my husband.
Ecclesiastes 4:1 – “So I returned, and considered all the oppressions that are done under the sun: and behold the tears of such as were oppressed, and they had no comforter; and on the side of their oppressors there was power; but they had no comforter.”
Thankfully, I do have a comforter: Jesus Christ!
But I digress! Back to the groceries…
Actually, the explanation came in the days prior: It started when God gifted me with work that I hadn’t expected over the coming summer months, then beyond. This was such a huge blessing! As I left work that day, those verses came back into mind, although I was still perplexed as to why I kept being led there. I had taken a temporary job, after a slew of unfruitful interviews over many months. I tried very hard not to fall into desperation; I knew God had a plan and the right door would open – I simply had to trust. Yet, it was difficult in this situation.
While unpacking I realized there were no burner pans on my stove (the maintenance person at the apartment forgot to replace the old ones) so decided to go up the street to get something to eat. I was just going to go get something cheap but I suddenly recalled those verses from Ecclesiastes and was flooded with His undeniable love.
Suddenly, I had a hankering for Thai food. God knows I love GOOD Thai food. I had been denied of going out to do anything I enjoyed for so long that I started to feel guilty for considering such an extravagance! However, when I got in my SUV I instantly headed for a nearby Thai restaurant I’d yet to try. I ordered my staple, Massaman Curry with Steamed Tofu, praying it was good. (I’d had some really bad dishes of it since moving back to Cincinnati thus my trepidation.) I felt a nudge in my spirit telling me not to hold back in getting what I wanted, so added a Tom Kha soup as well. Boy were my taste buds blessed that night!
The grocery-shopping trip occurred the next night. I walked into the store and immediately became price conscious. I heard Him whispering, ‘you are allowed to buy whatever you want, it’s covered’! I didn’t buy everything I wanted because I do have self-control (despite what he tried to convince me of) but as I drove home I kept being reminded that I had been under the oppression of an ungodly spirit and now I am not. I started to speak out loud, breaking off the bondage and any curses that were spoken over my life. I could feel that stuff lifting from me – the heaviness, sadness and fear – and it sent tingles through my entire being.
At that moment, for the first time in months, I BELIEVED what God was showing me: I am worthy!
I AM Worthy of taking care of myself by eating good food, having my basic needs met and receiving His blessings. Even while I was at the store, a lady warmly gave up a tube of mascara I’d been eyeing seeing it was the last one. His favor is a sweet aroma in our lives that we must savor! It is important to understand that Jesus had performed a great work in my life to get me to believe any of this back in 2009 – that I had worth and was worthy and loved. It breaks my heart to see someone I love struggling this way: I recognize that the man I married is oppressive (unknowingly) because he is oppressed by the enemy’s lies.
Leaving my marriage was heartbreaking. I struggled for many months, sought wise counsel, prayed and fasted – then did it all over again (and again) – to no relief. Our relationship actually worsened over time. But as a dear friend and sister in Christ stated, ‘you absolutely cannot go backwards in this situation. God never intended for you to live in oppression ever again’. I agree. God didn’t deliver me from my past to allow me to go right back into the enemy’s prison! I pray that my husband will one day truly eat from God’s hand, and not from the hand of oppression. I pray he let’s God show him how he too is worth taking care of and receiving AGAPE love.
Ecclesiastes 5:17 – “All his days also he eateth in darkness, and he hath much sorrow and wrath with his sickness.”