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You Can Quit!
Photo: Constantin Opris
It‘s reported that former Senator Obama told his wife he would quit smoking if she would let him run for president. He did run and he did win, but it’s common knowledge he still struggles with the habit.

Before we become judgmental it’s important to know that to stop smoking is extremely difficult. The active chemical nicotine, is the most powerfully addictive-substance in the human experience. I know. Been there, done that, even bought the T-shirt.

Here’s what happened to me: I had smoked for years. I always wanted to quit and tried a thousand times. Make that two thousand. I did some crazy things in my attempt to be rid of this addiction. I remember making brash statements to my family about how my smoking days were over, only to be embarrassed the next day with another defeat.

A grown man, with somewhat average intelligence, I would actually bury the cigarettes in the ground, only to dig them up later to feed my habit. Once, on vacation, I threw my pack out the car window and proclaimed to the family that I was quitting for good. I hate to admit it but a few miles down the road I turned around and recovered the dreadful things, making some dumb comment as to why I had to retrieve the cigarettes--something about children might find them or an animal could die if it ate them.

Encounter with Jesus

Years passed. Then one day I had an encounter with Jesus Christ that changed my life forever. I became a Christian. I explained to my agnostic wife that I could now give up my smoking because God would help me. She wasn’t impressed, but I assured her that the next day I would be smoke free.

The next day, however, nothing had changed. I remember asking God what was going on.  Didn’t He know that my wife was checking all this out? I gave greater effort the next day, but there was no change. I was still addicted--almost to her delight.

Discouraged and confused I had a talk with God. I told Him that it was important for my wife to see Him as a life-changing God. Right then I promised Him I would never smoke again. And somehow I knew at that moment I was free. I never touched a cigarette again. Yes, it was a God thing, but I had to surrender my will to His will to activate the “miracle.”

My wife and kids were so impressed that I know this contributed to the whole family being baptized and then to a life of serving Jesus. This was a defining time in my life as I realized a fundamental truth: God will not do what I must do for myself, and I cannot do what only God can do for me.

If you or someone you know is struggling with this addiction, share this story. I pray it will help others in their journey to a smoke-free life.

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By David Snyder. Copyright © 2010 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines.

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