“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but …against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” Eph 6:12
As a kid one of our favorite games was to have breath-holding competitions. It was generally a battle of wills. We learned the human body can go longer without breathing than one would think. Somebody always won, nobody ever passed out, and we didn’t have any fatalities. Oh, but that first victorious deep breath after the contest ended was sweet.
In the journey of life, there will be moments that take our breath away. There will also be moments that find us frantically gasping for air. I have exercised induced asthma that is triggered by cold. So, while it only happens rarely, I am intimately familiar with the feeling of my body betraying me, closing down my airways as I gasp to take in the oxygen that so abundantly surrounds me. What happens when life is that way?
There is fuel for our soul…just out of reach. We are gasping for breath but disconnected from the source.
When running, the most effective response is to slow down. Open the airways. Rest. When it’s time to return to the fight, work into it slowly. Our battle is not the road or the race, it’s our airways.
In our life, too, our battle is often not what it seems. When we find ourselves gasping, our gut reaction is to try fight harder. We pull back from relationships and positive habits to focus on regaining our footing. But our struggle isn’t against flesh and blood. We easily forget the battle against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Our struggle blinds us.
Let’s draw a lesson from my asthma…
Slow down, but keep moving forward. Don’t wander from the path.
Open the airways. “All who confess that Jesus is the Son of God have God living in them, and they live in God.” (1 John 4:15) God is never far from you. Recenter on Him. Breathe in grace. Breathe out praise. Pray.
Rest. Even God rested. Not because He had to, but as an example to us. Trust Him.
Plod forward. God has called you to something. But He didn’t say you had to get there today. Small steps are still forward progress. Forward progress is better than quitting the race. Trust His guidance and strength.
Find a running partner. When we can’t find God, our trusted companions can point us to Him. Speaking the truth in love can challenge us, but reorients us.
The moments of panicked gasping never last. We can learn to navigate them. God has called us to boldly step into His plan. Keep. Moving. Forward.
This post is the fourth entry of a #5ForFive challenge by the Rev1211 community. This year, the group theme is “breathe,” and my theme is “Finding Life.” You can visit part one here, part two here, and part three on my Facebook page here.