My father-in-law had a small stroke a week ago. While I was visiting him in the hospital, the nurse would come in to take his vitals and listen to his lungs.
The nurse would say, "Take a deep breath," and respond with, "I hear some crackling in those lungs." The respiratory therapist would then come in to give a him a breathing treatment, which made it easier for him to breathe.
It made me think back to the year I was going through a divorce. I was the mother of two small children and had a husband who left one day out of the blue and told me he was never coming home.
My anxiety level was so high that I found it hard to catch my breath. I would walk across the street when a state of panic would overcome me, and my breathing would become shallow and labored.
It’s what they call a panic attack!
Panic attacks are scary, uncomfortable, and hard to control.
Control! Why is it that humans feel a need to control things? I know in my life, the harder I try to control things, the worse they get. You’d think I’d learn my lesson!
I had to learn how to deal with the overwhelming stress in my life without trying to control it.
The answer was right there inside of me in my spirit, where the Spirit of God lives and dwells.
When I stop and think of the calling of my spirit, I breathe much easier. When I sit in His presence and ask Him to fill me with His strength and love, my spirit breathes deep and my breath is full, clear and robust as He gently reminds me, "Just breathe."
God is our “breathing treatment!” He is the one who breathed life into us!
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 (NIV)
We can also be in fellowship with the Father and the Son because of the Holy Spirit dwelling within us.
And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit."
John 20:22 (NIV)
It’s not a process that happens overnight, but when anxiety strikes and I choose to just breathe, breathe in the presence of the Holy Spirit and let Him take on the anxieties in my life, I begin breathing easier and the anxiety subsides.
How about you? Have you checked the status of your spirit lately?
Can you breathe deep, or are you diminished, wheezy, or crackling?
If you find yourself gasping, wheezing, or getting less than a full breath, can I suggest something?
Make a change. If you can, choose to let go of the situation that is causing you the most anxiety. If you can’t change it, then choose to breathe. Breathe in the presence of the Holy Spirit, surrender and let go of trying to control what you need to allow God to control.
We all have one life to live, and we might as well breathe deep while we live it.
Take heart, my friend, and JUST BREATHE!
With love and joy,