May 3rd, 2012 by John
Thoughts Along the Way©
He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” Psalm 46:10
We are spending several weeks in the mountains of Colorado and are once again discovering that the air is much thinner than we are used to breathing. The air is so wonderfully clean and in the morning crisp as it fills my lungs. Granted I would like more oxygen in it. This smaller amount of oxygen is forcing me to be quiet and physically slow down. What a simple and natural thing – breathing. But there are times when breathing does not seem so easy. Tokyo can be such a high-paced and high-stressed place that slowing down seems oddly uncomfortable.
Thin air is not the only time that I have to remind myself to breath. There have been times of pain, sorrow, and/or stress where remembering to take deep breaths was essential. Times when I need to remember to rest in Christ and just breathe.
At present I am thinking especially about stress and how it makes me feel wound so tightly that I feel like I am shaking inside. Yes, taking a few deep breaths may help for the moment but I need to look at the causes for the stress. Is it a response to what is happening in my life? Is it fear of what might happen? Is it concern over what others may think? For me it is often all of the above.
But the deeper reason is that I have forgotten whose I am. I have taken on responsibility for my life and forgotten that God now has that responsibility. God has not moved, changed, or forgotten His promises. He is still my Father who loves me. He loves me not only with an eternal love but with a real today love that I can trust. I need to not only take deep physically refreshing breaths but also deep satisfying soul breaths. I need to let myself be quiet before God and just breathe. Breathe in His love, acceptance, comfort, joy and peace. To let Him be the essence of who I am. I am His and I can trust Him with every breath I take.
Unfortunately, I live too much of my life Spirit deprived which leaves me tired, weak, and self-centered. I need times to intentionally breathe in the pure love of Christ. To let the Holy Spirit refresh my spirit. This spiritual breathing leaves me both intensely satisfied and also wanting more. I feel closer to the Father not for what He can do for me but for who He is. I am learning anew the joys of just breathing.
Prayer: Father, I am so thankful that You love me too much to simply let me wander into self-reliance. Thank You for using times of stress to remind me that I am not alone. Help me to turn from my self-effort and turn in faith to Your Holy Spirit. Refresh my spirit once again and fill me with the fruit of Your Spirit – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
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