Here's a little story of Gods amazing grace...Not only has he saved a wretch like me by taking my sin and dieing in my place...He continues, on a daily basis to shower me with His grace. Lets define grace...Grace is something given to us that we do not deserve. With that said let me share one of many, many experiences of God's grace over my life. I grew up in a dysfunctional addict minded family, so it really was no surprise that I began smoking at an early age. It was just what we did. Any way, let's stay on track...I smoked for 17 yrs. I didn't like it, i always felt guilty, tried to hide the fact that i smoked and really wanted to quit...i tried all kinds of methods but nothing worked. One day one of my sons came home from school and said "mom won't you please quit smoking? All the kids in my class think its me that smokes because all my things smell like smoke." Well I wanted to be a good mother and so the next morning i mustered up all my will power and quit smoking cold turkey...for the sake of my children. Now my husband still smoked and my quitting caused a bit of adversity between us...I have to say i was not very compssionate towards him and sometimes was probably down right rude. After all, I had quit...why couldn't he? Years passed, life went on and i was sailing through life with little problem. Till BAM! My mom died, my father in law and mother in law died, my marraige started getting rocky, my work schedule became overloaded, My children were giving problems and while I was trying so hard to balance all of this, I fell into depression. One night after having worked all day I accompanied my husband and my freind to a local club. my husband and my friend were talking, i was in the middle, and they were both smoking. I was feeling left out and tired and i forget exactly what was said but i asked for a cigarette. they couldn't imagine me smoking since i was such an advocate against it since i had quit 7 years ago. I gained instant approval from my husband and friend and I'm sure Satan was doing a dance that I had succumbed to the temptation. After that night i didn't want to smoke any more and i almost had a cocky attitude towards it, like oh, I can just smoke one and not have any more, i can control it. Well, it didn't take long that my controlling it didn't work and i was back to being a full fledged smoker. I was too embarassed to let anyone know. so for the next year i took painstaking measures to hide it, all the while praying to God that I would be able to quit. After all i did it once. So why i wondered was it so hard this time? Towards the end of that full year of smoking my husband was diagnosed with emphysema, and I discovered that all 4 of my children were smoking. I was feeling awful and guilty and yet I still couldn't quit. Then it hit me...I think actually God himself hit me. Two verses came to me the night before I quit...2 Corinthians 12:9- But he said to me
" My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." and the other verse was Psalm 37:4-Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.
When i woke up that next morning these verses were stuck in my head. i lit up a cigarette, I smoked it and i felt total disgust with myself. I got on my knees and begged God to take the urge to smoke away. I repented and God was faithful. He poured out His grace and mercy upon me...and by His grace and His grace alone, I have been delivered...I haven't had nor have i even craved having a cigarette since. I just needed to share the wonderful redemptive power of our Lords grace. I hope someone will be blessed and encouraged by it! Thank You God!