Knowing When to Breathe
Updated: Feb 11, 2019
God is our refuge and our strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Psalm 46:1
“Don’t hold your breath,” she said as she patted my arm to prepare it for an IV. I suddenly remembered how holding your breath makes it harder for a phlebotomist to stick you. But I tend to hold my breath when I’m about to get stuck to be sure I don’t flinch, cry, or feel pain. As a 7-year cancer survivor, I’ve perfected this breath holding practice as a defense mechanism to see me through many encounters with the big scary needles. Lately I’ve noticed that sometimes, when life gets a little overwhelming, that same old defense kicks in.
Do you ever hold your breath when you know you should be crying out to Jesus?
I know I do. I try to be strong, put on a brave face and muddle through. Laying down at night with silent tears streaming onto my pillow, I know I should talk to Jesus, yet I keep holding it in. The funny thing is that it’s usually the smaller stuff that I withhold. It’s as if I don’t want to bother Jesus with something trivial, or maybe I don’t want to seem weak? I run right to him with the big stuff. Lord, heal my cancer! Lord, direct my path! Lord I’m concerned about finances! But, I find it harder to automatically go to him with Father, my feelings are hurt. Lord, I have so much on my plate and I’m tired. Jesus, I’m scared of this needle.
If you are a breath holder like me, there’s good news for us in Psalm 46:1, “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.”
No matter the size of the struggle, our God is sufficient to sustain us. He is waiting for us to cry out to Him. He is our safe place, our shelter from the storm, our escape from the hurts of life. He gives us courage and stability and the steadiness we need to persevere. We may hide from him but he is never far from us, we need only to cry out to him to receive what is necessary to accomplish a task or satisfy a need. He assists us through His Word: correcting, guiding and supporting. He rescues us with his spirit providing comfort, support and cooperation. He saves us by His Son providing a way back to Him.
There’s no reason for us to go through life holding our breath when we have a constant source of love and inspiration available to us at all times. Make it a point to talk to Jesus throughout your day. Then when struggles come, big or small, your automatic response will be to breathe out a cry to Jesus and breathe in His abundant love.