Fight your battle by finding strength in Christ


Jim Honeycutt

Chaplain-Baptist Minister

God is faithful. He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. 

This verse of Scripture I whispered to myself softly as I stood in my dim lit bathroom looking in the mirror. 

Outside, the sun was bright, the birds were singing, people were going about their business enjoying the beauty of the new day. But I was not. I was isolated away in a wrestling match with my flesh. 

In each hand I held a pill bottle. My head felt like an anvil with the hammer about to fall for the final time. Once more I faced the test of pounding. Locked in a high-stakes bout with an unrelenting opponent, my resolve was dwindling. Like a mouse hidden in the shadows, waiting and watching, the temptation I now faced had come forth like an uncaged lion. It roared angrily, demanding my full attention. My body cried out for the quick numbing of the prescription narcotics I held in my right hand. While in my mind, my will argued for the slower acting anti-inflammatory I held in my left.

I knew when I stopped taking the injections I had taken for many years that prevented episodes like this, that the possibility of migraine recurrence could happen. I just didn’t expect it to be this bad. Making the decision to stop the Botox injections was not one I had made hastily. Even though they reduced my occurrences of attacks, they also damaged the muscle and nerves around the injection sights. So, after 10 years I ceased their use. At this moment I wished I hadn’t.

My right hand holds a temporary fix. One that from experience I know wouldn’t last long. One that could awaken an old habit from my past. For there was a time when I so desired their euphoric ability, I became mired in the muck of addiction.

What had started as therapy for a chronic condition, entangled my flesh with a web of delusion. By the mercy of God, I had been delivered from that cycle of placating my flesh. Yet in the back of my mind, I feared its return, i.e., the mouse.

Standing here facing myself in the mirror, a tear rolls down my cheek as anguish pours from my soul. Lord I am tormented by my own doing. For my mind holds the will not to succumb, but my physical body craves the drugs temporary comfort. And my ability to hold back the flesh is dimmed. As I cry out for help, I know in my spirit that this is more than a physical test of my will, it is a test of my submission. What will it be, the right or the left? Or something else?

The verse I started reciting, I complete, with tear filled eyes… But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure It. Wiping away my emotion I ask, what is it Lord, what is my way out? Within my spirit I notice a moving, something stronger than my will is rising up, a sense of peace. I release the bottles from my hands and simply say, “I surrender.”

Slowly as I stand looking at my dim reflection, I become groggy, desiring to lay down, all I can think is how good the pillow will feel against my pounding head. Dragging myself to the bed I fall into its welcoming embrace. The pounding is fleeing, rest is coming, sleep is here. I was down for only a bit, in my body it seemed like hours, though the clock told a different story.

I know that this will not be the only time I face this particular battle, for it is very much a thorn in my flesh. One sent not to make me suffer, but one that gives my spirit opportunity to trust in deliverance not of my own hand. The pain is just the vehicle that drives me to remember that I am in need. That I don’t have everything under control, that the fixes of the flesh are only temporary, leaving me worse off.

There are those able to occasionally use pain medication for relief without the fear of becoming overwhelmed. But that doesn’t mean their life is free from addictive habits that cause torment. Not everyone has physical addictions, some battle emotional trappings. Whether formed while we were children or as adults, self-destructive habits become ingrained.

We have a Creator that desires to set us free, but it doesn’t come from ourselves or other men. It comes through submission. Submitting our will to the will of The One who made us. I know to the human intellect this doesn’t make sense. Yet I also know by experience things of the Spirit seldom do.

My testimony is this… In Christ I find the strength to battle the testing I am called to face. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13


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