Inhale! Swallow!

In 1992 presidential candidate Bill Clinton’s history of drug use came to light. At the time President Clinton protested he “didn’t inhale.” A fine line of acceptable behavior was drawn.

Now in 2014 in the state of Colorado, marijuana use is legal. Go ahead and inhale! (Oh please hear my sarcasm.)

One of the starkest moments of my life came at the age of fourteen. My aunt and uncle lived with us while my uncle received cancer treatments. Years of smoking and drinking had led to a body ravaged by cancer.

One Friday before school I found my uncle at the top of the stairs. Too weak to take more than a few steps at a time, he was resting before walking down. I stood on the landing to say good-bye and stared into vacant eyes. He was silent, and I saw only cancer, not a man.

Cigarettes never became a temptation to me.

Drinking on the other hand …

Six months after my first husband died, my best friend told me she was expecting a baby. She and her husband were buying a house, and (from my perspective) living happily ever after.

That night as I drove home to my lonely apartment, angry tears blinded me. I pulled over, unable to drive. I yelled at God in my car. “Why?!” I decided to get drunk. Glancing out the window, I saw a bar across the street. By God’s grace I started the car and went home.

I didn’t swallow.

Smoking, drinking to get drunk–legal but not healthy. Calming and numbing but not life-giving.


–> Do you pursue life-giving habits and recreation? What would change if you did?

Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being (Genesis 2:7).

The Breath of Life! Inhale that!

For while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened, because we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by LIFE (2 Corinthians 5:4, emphasis mine).

he [God] will swallow up death forever.
The Sovereign Lord will wipe away the tears
from all faces (Isaiah 25:8-9).

Death and grief swallowed up by life! Drink hope!

God, the counterfeits seem so real. Show me the truth today, and I will breathe it in and ingest it. Amen. 


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