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Catch Your Breath

Have you ever had your breath taken away? Upon the birth of your child? When speeding down that first major decline on a roller coaster? By being knocked flat on your back during a game of dodge ball? Upon receiving the news of the tragic loss of a loved one? Or the unfortunate odor of a skunk? We’ve probably all lost our breath at some time.

Recently, a group of us were blowing up balloons for a pretty epic decoration for VBS. We were all huffing and puffing. Some of us got dizzy and a little light headed. The room smelled of latex and bad breath. Eventually, I lost my breath.

What is the source of our breath, our oxygen? Well, having helped my sixth grader study for a science test about the pulmonary system, I could go into great detail answering that question. I won’t, fortunately. See, I’m not asking about our physical breath, but the “breath of life.”

Genesis 2:7 says, “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.” Adam was formed, but it wasn’t until God provided him with the life sustaining breath that he became alive!

Most of us inhale and exhale with such ease, and we’ve never experienced the struggles some have with it!  Others may have various ailments which affect the proficiency of their lungs. During my brief stint with COVID-19, I did have some difficulty getting a full refreshing intake of air. It is unsettling, to say the least.

Medical experts have been able to provide relief and breathing support through great scientific advances, thankfully.  There are some things we can do to improve the quality of our breathing, as well. Some suggestions include maintaining a healthy weight and diet, practicing meditation, and practicing good posture.  It is suggested the most efficient way to breathe is “belly breathing.”  (I don’t know… look it up.) Belting out a favorite song can optimize your lung capacity. Laughing is a good lung exercise.  Finally, like all good medical advice says, drink more water!

Can we improve our spiritual breathing? Yes! Here are three ways to improve your breathing.

1. We can begin with a healthy diet of wise choices. James 1:5 says, “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.”  When we have this gift of wisdom and choose to use it, our life decisions may look different. Later in James, it says, “but the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.” (James 3:17)

Breath in deeply God’s wisdom.

2. Next, practice good posture. I’m not asking you to sit up straight with your shoulders back. I’m referring to your prayer posture. You may choose to sit up, kneel, bow your head, stand outside staring into the heavens or lay on the beach. Your physical stance does not matter. Your heart does. I read on a website, “Praying to God is not about outward appearance, but an inward conviction of the heart. It requires a proper attitude and a humble heart. If you pray with a sincere heart, then God will hear your prayers.” Second Chronicles 7:14 says, “if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

Breath in deeply and pray.

3. Drink lots of Water! Drink often of the Living Water. When Jesus was traveling with His disciples through Samaria, He stopped at a well. Most of us know what happened from there. He encountered a woman who had not led a godly life and asked her for water. The Samaritan woman was taken back and even more in shock when Jesus told her about His life.

In John 4:14, Jesus said, “whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst again. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” Simply put, spend more time with Jesus. Talk to him. Read His Word. Fellowship with His children. Worship Him.

Be with Jesus and just breathe.

Catch your breath and breathe deep! It will fill you with the breath of life and when it does, it might just take your breath away!

- Heather Ramsey