by Kim Bond
At the age of twenty-two, I became a Christian. In an attempt to win God’s favor, I tried to adopt my perception of a Christian lifestyle. Part of this endeavor included laying down my cigarette smoking habit.
I prayed for the Lord’s help, and He graciously helped me overcome the initial physical addiction. Still, I was regularly tempted by cigarettes. I gave into the temptation to smoke after six weeks, and the addiction grabbed hold of me again.
Even though I failed, the Lord continued to show me His favor. The longer I walked with Christ, the more I gained His inner peace. My thought patterns became more positive and hopeful. God demonstrated His love and trustworthiness time after time. My passion to quit smoking grew, but my ability to stop the addiction decreased with each passing year.
Finally at the age of thirty-six, I tried a prescription medicine for smoking cessation. After three weeks, I felt as incapable of breaking the addiction as ever. The only difference I did notice were the medicine’s side effects. One such side effect was the onset of severe anxiety attacks.
During a panic episode, my heart would beat rapidly along with the horrifying sensation I could not breathe! After one unusually long panic attack, I felt I could no longer endure it and begged the Lord to make it stop.
The Lord spoke to my heart, “I will do this for you if stop smoking.” My heart must have responded with a “yes” because my panic attack stopped instantly and completely. Since then, I have not lifted a single cigarette to my lips. Although getting through the rest of the day without a cigarette was uncomfortable, I made it. The following day, something had drastically changed. It was inexplicable how the compulsion to smoke was just gone. I was completely healed of the tobacco addiction.
When I read the parable of the scattered seed, I am reminded of my struggle with addiction.
My desire to stop smoking sprang up quickly but dissipated after a short time because my relationship with Christ had no root. Once I had walked with Christ for a number of years, our relationship had grown.
I learned God can be trusted with my worries. His peace made my heart like good soil, so when his healing seed was scattered again it produced a vigorous plant. I am so thankful God never gave up on me.