Jim had a horrible addiction to cigarettes.

He had a dream one night, and in the dream, a man told him that God could take the desire away, but, that Jim had to believe that He could.

“Oh, man, if that is what it will take, I will believe.”

The man handed him a bag of roasted coffee beans.

“Every time you feel the cigarette’s pull, say, ‘My trust is in God,’ and eat three coffee beans, one at a time.”

Jim looked inside the bag and asked, “What kind of coffee beans are these, anyway?”

“The cure is not in the beans. The beans are just beans. They are a reminder to you that your trust is in God.”

Jim woke up.

There beside him, in the bed, was…his wife.

No coffee beans.

No bag.

He looked under the covers, under the pillows, on the floor, on the bedside table.

No beans.

“What are you looking for?” his wife murmured with her eyes still closed.

He told her the dream, in vivid detail.

She snored before he finished.

“It was so real,” he thought.

He went into the kitchen, got a ziplock bag, poured some coffee beans into the bag, sealed it, got dressed, stuck the bag in his pocket, and poured a cup of coffee.

“Cigarette!” He grabbed a pack, stopped, laid it back down.

“My trust is in God.” He ate three coffee beans, one at a time, and went to work.

That day, he ate a lot of coffee beans, but each time the urge for a smoke came on him, he would quietly say, “My trust is in God.”

Two days later, he threw his cigarettes away.

10 days later, he was only eating three beans a day, first thing in the morning, but that was only because he started each day saying,”My trust is in God.”

The coffee beans just seemed appropriate.

Jim’s neighbor, Ray asked him if he could borrow a cigarette one day.

“I quit, ” Jim said.

Ray looked at him, puzzled. “How’d you do that?”

Jim told him about the dream and all that followed.

Ray laughed, went to his other neighbor, borrowed a cigarette, and went home.

A couple of days later, he started eating coffee beans.

No change.

He called Jim. “Hey, what kinda coffee beans were those?”

“Doesn’t matter,” Jim replied, “the power is not in the beans.”

“You serious? You really think ” God” did this?”


Ray laughed and went home.

Ray never stopped smoking.

But four of Jim’s friends did.

They heard his story.

They believed him.

They put their trust in God.

And chewed their coffee beans as reminders.



  1. Just curious. Where, in your experience, did this come from. Is it a true account of someone’s story? Regardless, it’s a powerful statement. Our faith so often rests in what we can see, taste and feel rather than standing in trust and believe that God who so often feels distant is the source of life and healing. But it’s also fascinating story to me because I know God knows that we need physical reminders, like the sacraments, to keep walking the journey with Him. Would just love to know how this account came to be.


    • I made it up in response to an atheist telling me there is no proof of God. I called it a parable because the story was like the transformation of a person who becomes a believer by faith. The proof is in the transformed heart.


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