Hi, my name is Jonathan Harrison and I’m the eldest son to my parents. My younger brother and I, along with our parents live in Lucknow the capital of Uttar Pradesh, which is the biggest state in India. My dad is a business man and my mom is a teacher. Since childhood I have been going to church, attending Sunday school. So I knew the Bible pretty well.
God saved me in a miraculous way from the mouth of death when I was just 5 years old. My right lung got punctured and doctors gave up hope. But Jesus raised me from my death bed and gave me new life. Years later this experience, I was destroying this new life that Jesus had given me.
“Collar ko thoda upar chada ke cigarette ked hue ka challa bana ke”, yeah that was the song running through my mind when I lit my first cigarette at the age of 14 after watching this movie Kante. I thought it was quite cool to smoke. You could say I was a wanna-be. 😛
Well slowly I made some new friends who also used to smoke and I actually started enjoying their company. Gradually, the number of cigarettes I started smoking also started increasing. I used to smoke with my new found friends in the morning; before going to school; after school hours and before entering home in the evening. In 7th grade, during any free periods, we used to go to this secret place in our school and smoke. When I used to go out with them, I picked up few other habits like verbally abusing; fighting and watching porn as a result I became bad in academics. When my results came out, I failed in 2 subjects and just passed the class with a warning letter. My parents were quite unhappy with my result and scolded me but guess what? I screamed right back at them and from then on my relationship with my parents became bad.
Though we lived in the very same house and were a part of the same family, I used to come home only for sleeping and eating otherwise I used to stay out with my so called friends. At home I used to sit all alone in my room. I used to fight with my brother and sometimes the fights got physical. This went on for years and I started feeling unloved by all and felt that everyone hated me. My so called friends told me alcohol can help remove all tension so I picked up the habit of drinking, then gradually another thing called weed entered my life too. It gave me pleasure for a while but soon I was back again to the place where I felt lonely. All these things which I used to do for pleasure cost some money so when I didn’t have any, I would steal it from my dad’s pocket or from my mother’s purse. When they came to know about my stealing habit, I got a long lecture. Anyway, soon they found out that I used to steal things from my neighbor’s house like manhole covers, old iron chairs which were lying on their terrace. I used to sell them to get some money.
While I was going through all this I used to attend church meetings; worship nights and other kinds of meetings too. After every meeting, at the time of altar call, I used to go down on my knees and ask God for forgiveness and then I would decide that I won’t do it again. Unfortunately, after two or maximum three days I was back to the same bad habits. When I didn’t smoke, I felt as if someone was choking me. Anyway, my life became a mess. I was becoming physically weak too as my body was getting full of smoke.
I really wanted to let go of smoking but I was so much into it that I thought that I can never come out of it. Then finally in the month of November, 2013 I came across this verse (1 Corinthians 10:13) No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it, and I realized that it was me who was not letting it go.
Well friends sometimes we think that we need to leave a habit but the question is, “Are we really letting it go?” I was doing the same. I wasn’t letting it go but after reading this verse, I prayed to God saying, “Father I need your help to come out of these shackles of smoking and alcohol”, and from that day I decided I won’t touch it again. Friends trust me it wasn’t that easy to come out but the Bible also says in Luke 22:40 “Pray that you may not enter into temptation.” And guess what I did? I prayed and it really helped me and I left all my bad habits. Till date I haven’t touched a cigarette again. My relationship with my family has become very good now and we all sit together, pray together and eat together. All glory to God. I decided that I would go out and tell other youngsters who are going through the same mess. I would tell them that life is much beautiful with God. Cigarette, alcohol, drugs etc can satisfy you for a limited time but God can give you peace and satisfaction for the rest of your life. All we need to do is call on Him.
Today I’m leading a youth group in my area and telling other young people about the love of Christ and the freedom we get from him. I’m not in touch with those old friends anymore.
Our God is a faithful God, he is ready to give us freedom but, are we really willing to accept it??
Bible says ask and you shall receive it. Do you want to live this life of freedom? Run to the Father, who offers it freely to you.