How else can I become strong in the Lord without going through a test, trial or temptation and coming out triumphant? Satan tempts me, God allows temptation to test me. If everything was nice and rosy all the time how would I ever flex my spiritual muscles and grow stronger. If I live sacrificially, I will go thru tests and trials so that I can help others in similar situations. Getting rid of the junk in my life that make me a poor witness to others, like addictions: overeating, cursing & gossiping teaches me about the power and strength of the Lord. But I have to release control over my life and fully embrace God's will for my life. I can cast my cares upon HIm or I can carry them around like a 200 pound gorilla on my back. Thinking about submission has always made me cringe. I didn't want to be in submission to ANYONE! I was no slave. Then the thought of submitting to my non-believing spouse was even more abhorrent. So we had 21 years of strife(the first year doesn't count, as it was the honeymoon phase). I argue with everything he said. I told him and myself that I was just voicing my opinion--everyone has a right to their own opinion, don't they? But it wasn't just an opinion, it was a challenge and the beginning of an argument. Usually, he would back down, knowing that it wasn't that important to be right. But it was very important to me. I NEEDED to be right.
The Lord has revealed so much to me in the past few months about myself. While proclaiming to be a Christian, I rarely behaved in a Christ-like manner. I can see now that I was a Pharisee. I was talking out of both sides of my mouth. I praise the Lord that He did not spit me out, but was patient and waited for me to see the error in my thinking. It's been a difficult journey of self-awareness, watching all my character flaws revealed, one by one. There's probably more, but Jesus is kind, only giving me as much as I can handle at one time.
God is good to me!