How Much Can You Stand

No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are capable, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.

(The Apostle Paul)

It is quite true what Philosophy says: that Life must be understood backwards. But that makes one forget the other saying: that it must be lived –forwards. The more one ponders this, the more it comes to mean that life in the temporal existence never becomes quite intelligent, especially because at no moment can I find complete quiet to take the back-looking position.

Soren Kierkegaard (1813-1855) Danish philosopher and writer.

"Mr. Wilkerson in addition to the other charges you are also charged with Battery of a Police officer." The judged looked over his glasses and watched for my response.
I could not believe my ears when I heard the charge. I knew I had several Public Drunks and a Resisting Arrest charge I had to face in order to clean up my past but I had no idea I was charged with Battery of an Officer.

After a few moments silence the judge said, "Mr. Wilkerson, how do you want to plea?

"I do not know how to plea your honor," I said with panic in my voice. I looked at my wife and she was horrified. She had never been in a situation like this. Of course, we had prayed that God would have mercy on me for the crimes I had committed while drinking but this was certainly unexpected.

"Mr. Wilkerson are you guilty or not?" the judge ask. He was calm and he knew I had gone through Katrina and he was sympathetic but he still needed me to enter a plea.

"Well your honor I sure do not remember hitting a cop but if you say I did then I must have."

"Mr. Wilkerson so are you pleading guilty?

"I do not know." I really wanted to cry I was so scared. I did not have any idea what I was facing. If I pleaded guilty was I going to be sent to years in prison? I looked the judge and ask, "Your honor what will happen to me if I plead guilty?"

"Mr. Wilkerson if you plead guilty to Batter of an Officer we will drop all the other charges and you will be sent to 30 days in the county jail.

I turned and looked at my wife and ask her what to do. She did not know. She was so scared. She loved me so much and I can still see the fear and pain in her eyes. I had been gone for months receiving treatment in West Covina for my alcoholism and now this. It was almost more than she could take. She did not know what to tell me. Finally, I turned back to the judge and said, "I plead guilty."

"Ok Mr. Wilkerson," he said. I am going to give you a break, and give you only 20 days, a $ 450 dollar fine and allow you to serve the time on weekends. Is that OK with you Mr. Wilkerson? "

"Yes sir, I said quickly."

We walked from the courtroom that day not knowing if we had done the right thing or not. I knew I was still in shock over the charge. I knew I did not want to spend an hour in jail let alone 20 days, weekends or not. I was in a panic. I had to pay $ 50 dollars to the jailor every time I went to jail and we did not have it. I did not know what I was going to do so I ran. I went to courthouse, ask for another trial, and then headed back to West Covina. I did not have any money and God seemed so far away but the truth is He was there all the time. I could not see it nor could I feel His presence but he was faithful. His love for me was guiding me even when I did not realize it.

A month later I went back to court, was re-sentence to ten days on weekends. Ten days sure seemed a lot better than twenty did. During my stay back in West Covina, I had started a mobile detailing business, was making good money, and could afford to pay to go to jail. Honestly, I had never volunteered to go to jail and I had never had to pay to get in the jailhouse. Looking back, I can see how God was moving things around for me. He never did forsake me or leave me. His love for me is beyond my understanding. I returned home to Mary and I only had to do 8 days, because of good behavior, in the county jail. My heavenly father is faithful. He will never put more on you than you can stand. I can testify to the fact that God really does not put more on us than we can stand. At the time, everything was happening, I felt like God had abandoned me but now I know He was there all the time. If fact, I believe God allows things to happen the way they did in order for me to place my dependency on Him instead of myself. Thank God, He loves me that much.

I hope exposing my painful past assists others find the way out of their own pain experiences.


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