Isn’t that what we say?
What we tell ourselves when the day races underneath us like a high-speed treadmill? When our minds keep us sprinting, rushing, dashing this way and that at a break-neck pace? When we can’t fathom how to keep going? When we have no idea how to lift the weight of our own two feet to take one more step, yet we must keep moving?
Breathe. Just breathe.
We tell ourselves this as a balm. A motivational reminder to consciously force air down into our oxygen-deprived lungs. To exhale carbon dioxide in loud sighs and moans so that our minds keep fighting, our hearts keep feeling even in the suffocating presence of anxiety, stress, worry that runs like perspiration down our hot, tired faces.
In these moments, we tell ourselves to breathe because we realize breath is what we need most. To inhale. And then exhale. We need this invisible and vital function, yet so often we forget its source.
We forget that breath, physical and spiritual, comes from God Himself. He breathes. He gives life. He restores in us that coveted state of peace, rest, serenity, patience, joy. We don’t have to muster it up on our own. We don’t have to make it happen in our own strength.
Listen to Psalm 104:29-30.
“When you take their breath, they die and turn to dust. When you give them your breath, life is created, and you renew the face of the earth.” (NLT)
Your breath, God.
That is what we need when our circumstances have us running and fatigue has us by the throat.
Your breath, God.
You, breathing in us. That is what we need to infuse hope into our days and restore an eternal perspective that produces something in us when nothing is left.
We need the One who turns our face to His face. The One who “renews the face of the earth” too. The One who breathes into all our worn-out nostrils again and again and again the ever-quenching, life-altering, more-than-satisfying “breath of life” (Genesis 2:7).
Oh what a prayer!
If in life’s daily races, you paused and prayed, “Breathe. Just breathe.” If in the hardships and struggles, you turned to the Giver Himself and pleaded with Him, “Breathe. Just breathe. Oh God, breathe in me.”
To acknowledge God’s presence in these moments is to praise Him. To invite Him to breathe in you is to declare by faith a higher power can come, a greater otherworldly Oxygen can infuse, a compassionate Creator can pour out drenching hope in abundance until your wheezing, panting soul soothes and calms.
All you really have to do is breathe.
In and out.
To pray-breathe. To breathe Him in and eventually you’ll find the treadmill will stop. But until it does…
In what areas of your life does God want you to breathe Him in? How would acknowledging the nearness of His presence today impact the way you view your current circumstances?