Finding Life: Fight For It

Finding Life: Fight For It

“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…

Plodding Onward!

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.

Finding Life: Breathe In

Finding Life: Breathe In

“…then the Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature.” Gen 2:7

The words of a fictional scientist decades ago stuck with me. Long before Jeff Goldblum brought the character of Ian Malcolm to the silver screen, the phrase “life will find a way” leapt from the pages of a borrowed book and lodged in my cranium. Life will find a way. It doesn’t just apply to dinosaurs, but to you and I.

As life finds its way, how do we find it? How does this general inevitability become personal and passionate?

Let’s take a step back. For those of us who are radical enough to believe that in the beginning God created, every object in this universe exists for a purpose. That purpose has more depth and richness than our textbooks present. For example, rain is much more than the arrows drawn in an Earth Science textbook can convey. Sunset is more than masses in motion and energy interfering with molecules in the atmosphere. You and I both know it at a level ingrained deep in whatever make us “us.”  Afternoon summer showers and quiet evenings watching the sun fade can be profound. We experience a touch of the divine. That’s where we find life…In our creator, the source of it all.

Let’s step forward now. Like the clouds at sunset, you and I are also much more than simply molecules in motion. To think we are merely a complex set of chemical reactions responding to stimuli is to miss the profound purpose  our lives are and can be. It diminishes our significance and misses our own intersection with the divine and the possibility of knowing Him. Just like the earth, birds, and the trees, our lives were created to point to the one who made us all.

In the beginning, God breathed life into mankind. Man knew the creator personally and intimately. We knew our purpose and delighted in it. Then we turned from it. Now we seek purpose and fulfillment everywhere but Him. Jobs, relationships, art, entertainment, diversions, education, and a myriad of other pursuits. All fall short of fully filling us, because all fall short of what we were created to be filled by.

Let that sink in. Breathe in deeply. Exhale slowly. Whatever you’ve thought about God in the past, consider this now…He created you. Lovingly. He cherishes you. The One who splattered the Milky Way across the night sky also knit you together. His creativity shines through you when you are grounded in Him. His plans for us are always more incredible than our plans for ourselves. He sees in full what we only see in part, and He is the architect, artist, and engine for it all. When we return to Him, we learn that He freely gives. We find purpose, creativity, and meaning. We find life.

Breathe in. Breathe in and live.


This post is the first of a #5ForFive challenge by the Rev1211 community. This year, the group theme is “breathe,” and my theme is “Finding Life.”