"In case of a drop in cabin air pressure due to altitude increase or rapid decrease, your oxygen masks will drop down. Please be sure to put yours on FIRST before you attempt to help anyone else!"
Blah, blah, blah. Do we really need to see this demonstration again?
It would appear that such information is only necessary for a plane ride and we all know that the chances of crashing are 1 in 3.4 million of the 78 major world airlines! So most likely, no one is really interested in her little speech...and we've all heard it over and over again, right?
BUT what if that tidbit of advice could save our marriages, our relationships or the demon-possessed guy that decided to walk next to you as you entered a restaurant and he had about three conversations going, at once, with himself, ABOUT YOUR BUTT AND HOW HE'S NOT BLACK...and on and on...?
When pressure begins to build, God has made a way for us to release it. In the natural, it's called exhaling. Our bodies rid us of the toxic gas, carbon dioxide. But the only way to get rid of this toxicity is to breathe out. Breathe in and breathe out.
Because we are a spirit, we breathe real LIFE through a connection to Him in his Word, 'realationships' that keep us accountable and encourage us as well as daily worship (not in that order and I am sure there are more 'oxygenating' ingredients like prayer, sharing Jesus and so forth'!).
Without these 'elements' regenerating us, we are poisoned with lies, discouragement and hopelessness. The end results are devastating not only to ourselves, but to those we love.
But too many of us are holding our breath. Why do we hold on to the last breath we took and expect that we can keep giving life to those around us? It's just not possible. We must exhale and fill our lungs with fresh oxygen...because there is so much more to live for and it's all worth it.
As Jacob and Jenna drove off yesterday, I was swept away in emotion. For five months we poured our lives into each other and though there were intense moments and conflicts, as there will be when seven people live together, we loved each other. We celebrated together, cried and hugged often (maybe I did most of the crying...), graced one another every day and sometimes we didn't do too well, but God's Spirit breathed His life on our time together and it worked.
We adopted Jenna as a daughter and Norah as another grandbaby, this wee one that unraveled us daily with her exuberance for living in every moment, all the while verbally exclaiming, "I'm here. Enjoy me. I am a delight and joy!" And she is!
My lungs need fresh air to move forward. I can't breathe as my fingers pound the keys and the tears trickle uncontrollably down my cheeks.
On this Monday before Thanksgiving, breathe deeply. This may be a tough year. There may be memories of pain that would love to choke you, robbing you of a new season of joy. Take a deep breath and ask the giving God to breathe His Spirit on you...
This is my prayer as I wake each day now:
Lord Jesus, breathe Your life into my lungs so I can push forward to love ALL THOSE YOU SEND OUR WAY. Help me THIS Thanksgiving as my family is scattered and I feel like pieces of me are in Florida, New York, upper Texas, Kentucky, South Carolina and Houston. Establish Your kingdom in each of these places, always keeping our hearts close, despite the distance.
As you soar towards this holiday, may He fill your lungs with His breathe and may His Spirit satisfy you.