Immediately after I became a Christian I became very convicted about smoking. I was determined to stop but it seemed to be a losing battle. The harder I tried to quit, the more I smoked. I spent more money trying to stop than on the habit itself. I would buy cigarettes by the carton to save money but then on my Ďtoday-is-the-day-Iím-going-to-quití rampages Iíd break them all in half and throw them in the garbage. A few hours later I would dig them out and try lighting the short little butts without setting my nose of fire. When that didnít work my next plan of attack was to gather all my packs and throw them in the fireplace and watch them go up in smoke as I vowed NEVER to buy another package. During the night my nicotine level would drop dramatically so by the time the sun came up my entire body would be screaming for a nicotine fix. I would dig through the pile of ashes until I found a little piece that managed to survive the flames.
Learning from my past mistakes I then decided to bury my nasty habit by soaking the next carton in a sink full of water. You can not imagine how ludicrous and humiliated I felt digging through that soggy, disgusting mess the next morning trying to find something that could be lit to give me relief from the pain caused by this new experience of oxygen filling my lungs.
I was sincerely determined to succeed and thought that if I just got past the morning hump I could beat this thing. I realized I would have to find a more permanent way to dispose of these cancer sticks so I would buy a pack, smoke my Ďthis-is-going-to-be-my-last-puffí and throw the rest out my car window. One problem with that is that I became more convicted about littering than about smoking.
At this point I knew I needed divine intervention so I asked a lady who knew how to bombard heaven to pray for me. I didnít want her to know that I smoked so I merely said I had an unspoken request. A week later she told me that regardless of my request, God told her to simply pray peace for me.
PEACE? I thought peace was a dirty word. I had places to go, people to see and things to do. I was on roller skates for God. I didnít have time for peace. I presumed people that had peace sat still for hours at a time pondering and contemplating as they went nowhere and did nothing. I had the same misguided notions about peace that many people have about meekness.
Well, I noticed immediately that it did slow me down a little. Then a week later I felt like I was in slow motion. The week after, as if I was completely standing still. But when it seemed as if I started going backwards I started to yell, "Stop praying! STOP PRAYING! Donít pray peace for me any more! I canít get anything accomplished!" What I didnít realize was that I lived my life driven by the devil rather than being lead by the Holy Spirit and although I thought I was accomplishing a lot of things, I was really sowing to the wind. They were totally unnecessary and had been causing me much anxiety. The anxiety was giving me an adrenaline rush which caused me to smoke even more to still my nerves, which caused me more anxiety. When I experienced the peace of God, peace replaced the anxiety, and I simply stopped smoking.
It was the peace that Isaiah 26:3 speaks about; "Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on thee, because he trusteth in thee. Trust ye in the Lord forever; for in the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength." Notice that the key is to focus on the Lord. Peace is guaranteed when we take our eyes off the circumstances and completely trust and rely on Him.
That supernatural peace was never more real to me than last week when I was rushing my husband to the hospital confident Iíd get there before his heart attack became fatal. Prior to this night he had spent more than a month in intensive care because of congestive heart failure and had just recently been released. Now, just days later he started experiencing severe pain directly to his heart. As I raced to the hospital there was no fear. There was no panic. I had total peace as I quoted scripture after scripture the entire 45 minute drive knowing that God was in control and we were in the palm of His hand. Nothing could happen to either of us outside of His knowledge or permission.
Circumstances can not dictate our destiny. Our fate is totally and exclusively in the hands of God if we pray. Since He controls the winds and the waves we donít have to worry when storm clouds come our way. We donít have to lose our peace because, come what may, we have His never-ending unlimited warranty -- eternal life -- guaranteed and secured for all eternity!
Copyright Donna Martonfi www.psalm40ministries.com