How to Catch Your Breath
“Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take,” goes one famous inspirational quote, “but by the moments that take our breath away.” Though this cliché marks countless coffee mugs and graduation speeches, it orbits a discouraging truth: our lungs are woefully empty. We see the love God offers, but our doubt and disbelief cause us to hold our breath. As we stand with mouths clenched closed, we gasp for air from places with no oxygen. Whether they be sin, suffering, or guilt, these vacuums rob us of our life. We need someone who can help us catch our breath.
Losing Our Breath
We were made to breathe deeply. On creation’s first day, the Father’s Spirit was the breath that coursed through our newly molded bodies. With this air animating our lives, we could work, rest, and play to the glory of God. The breath our Maker lovingly gave us could rise back to him in an endless symphony of worship. Despite this promising exchange, we closed our mouths.
When our lips were sealed tight, God spoke his perfect Word into our world. His breath initiated our restoration. As Christ walked among us, he stood in the gust of the Father’s love. Freely this affection he received, and willingly he offered faith and praise back to heaven. In response to this love, Jesus sacrificed himself on the cross and surrendered his breath on our behalf. With his final gasps, he shouted, “It is finished,” the words printed on Greek tax receipts that had been paid in full. He offered his life so we could find ours; he relinquished his breath so we could catch ours
Catching Our breath
Christ emptied his lungs to demonstrate the capacity of his love for us. As the force of this realization blows over us, let us open wide our hearts to receive it. Jesus will not leave us gasping. Sin can neither shut our mouths nor can suffering steal our air. St. Irenaeus once wrote, “The glory of God is man fully alive.” In the airflow of the Lord’s kindness, we live fully, praise endlessly, and breathe deeply. In the love of Christ, we can catch our breath.
In the Word
1 John 4:7-21
1 Corinthians 13
What does God’s love look like?
How does he want to show you his love?
What keeps you from receiving it?