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Just Breathe!

Spring time is here!  Beautiful colors are blooming everywhere we turn.  With budding flowers come the pollen. And allergies. Although this was never a huge issue for me growing up, in recent years that has changed. They call it 'adult on-set asthma' triggered by allergies.  Thankfully, just once a year. But that one time a year can be rough when you feel your lungs begging for more breath. And this year we add the complication of a pandemic that has swept our world: COVID-19. Daily we are hearing the reports of how many are on ventilators or how many ventilators are needed. 

Breath. Air. Oxygen. It is vital for life. If our air passages are blocked too long and there is no one around to breathe air back into us, death may soon follow. Reading the stories from healthcare workers who are on the frontlines of this virus is heart wrenching. My mind has a hard time wrapping around the picture that these workers describe about their experience watching patients grasping for breath with all they have left in them.

Learning the proper ways to administer CPR is not only important but required by many professional businesses. And any of us who enjoy the means of travel on a plane have heard the script of what to do 'in case of an emergency.'

"The cabin pressure is controlled for your comfort. However, should it change radically in flight, oxygen compartments will automatically open in the panel above your seat. Reach up and pull the mask to your face. This action will start the flow of oxygen. Place the mask over both your mouth and nose .................... If you are traveling with children, or are seated next to someone who needs assistance, place the mask on yourself first, then offer assistance."

To those who have experienced the fear of not being able to fill your lungs with air, you know the panic that can come. It's like a person drowning, grasping for something to help them climb out of a watery grave. As they finally push through to the surface, they are gasping for clear air. For the person who needs constant assistance to breathe, they will go nowhere without their tank of air at their side. They realize that life itself is totally dependent on that tank. Or as many are experiencing during this virus, a ventilator might be the only thread keeping them hanging onto this world.

Totally dependent on breath. I want that to describe my life.  But that breath that I so desperately need is HIM!! When I think of that drowning person, or see someone attached to an air tank even as they walk around in life, or hear of another person depending on a ventilator, I think of my own daily need and ask, "Do I really act like I desperately need Him?"

When someone goes deep sea diving, they prepare ahead of time. They recognize the importance of being fully equipped with proper gear before dropping into the water. A tank of air and proper hose for the air to flow through is a crucial part of preparedness. If the tank is getting low on oxygen, it is time to return to the surface for another new tank.

I want my life to reflect that same desperate need. Just as we hear of the people rushing into the ER gasping for air desperate to get help, I want to live that dependent on Him. I want it to be obvious that each part of my being lives off of a proper connection to my Savior. When I am struggling with allergy induced asthma, I make sure I have my inhaler with me at all times. How much more should I choose to take His Spirit with me wherever I go? Am I really living in a way that shows my very life depends on time with Him? I picture moms rushing to get CPR into a child who was just rescued out of a watery pit. Am I rushing to others with the lifeline of Jesus that they need?

There is a well known chorus that comes to mind:

This is the air I breathe This is the air I breathe Your holy presence living in me

This is my daily bread This is my daily bread Your very word spoken to me

Daily bread. Desperate. Such a picture is painted with those words. As I watch the situation of this virus play out and hear the stories of people who are desperate for help, the question comes to my mind, "Is that how I look when I am not taking time out to be with Him?"

It's time to examine my own heart and life. Have I become that dependent on my Lord? Do I grasp at time with Him as if my very life depends on it? Or am I pushing that aside and choosing instead to go about life short of breath? Psalms 63:1 paints a good picture of this:

You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek you; I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you, in a dry and parched land where there is no water.

Just breathe today! Breathe in Him. His words. His breath. His very being. May we grasp for it like someone grasping for their very breath - because without Him there really is no life.


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