Just Breathe

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Today is a difficult day for some people as the nation remember 9/11. A lot of lives were lost, destroyed and changed forever. I pray God’s peace upon you if you are struggling with this.
 
When God called me to give talks and when I was asked to take an office that would put me in front of people I soon began to panic. I was definitely a Moses; arguing with God. I was sure He had got it wrong. Now after 4 years or more I can’t say I enjoy it, but I know where my ability and power comes from.
 
On one of those first few talks God gave me this exercise to do. He asked me to take a deep breath and breathe Him in and hold it for a few seconds. As I exhaled I was to blow out the stress, the nervousness, and anything that was blocking me from using His power. He asked me to take it a step further. I was to ask those to whom I was speaking to, to do the same thing. I asked them to breathe in God and exhale anything that would keep them from hearing God’s message. They were to exhale all their thoughts about what they had to do after they finished listening to me, they were to exhale any problems they had and they were to breathe in God and to focus on Him. I saw some of the ladies actually do this. A few ladies came up afterward and said that really helped them.
 
A few weeks ago during my online Bible Study we were discussing how sometimes sleep often escapes us because we are thinking about what we didn’t get accomplish that day. We women never concentrate or think about what we did do, we have a tendency to think about what we didn’t do. I ask them to do this simple exercise each night before going to bed. First, say your nightly prayers. Second, breathe in God and hold it. Feel His Presence as He fills you up from head to toe. Then exhale all those worries, all those stresses,all those incomplete lists and just let God enfold you and rest in His Presence. It may take several tries for you to get it down, but once you do you will notice sleep comes quickly and you will wake feeling restful. It’s a good feeling.
 
God tells each of us we are not to stress or have anxiety or fear anything.
 
  “I sought the LORD, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears” (Psalm 34:4).

 “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving,
 present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding,
 will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7).

I was reading a book this morning and she had a different exercise that I think I will try to do. It goes like this:  breathe in saying, “I can’t. Exhale saying, “But God can.” That is saying you can’t do things on your own, but with God’s power working through you, you can accomplish much.
 Ephesians 6:10 tells us, “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might.”
 
Matthew 19:26, reminds us,
“But Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

 
Finally, my favorite verse,
 “I can do all things through Christ[a] who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13

 By saying I can’t but God can we proclaim we know where our power comes from. There are just some things we can’t get through on our own, there are some circumstances that are way beyond us, but if we repeat it enough and believe it then we can do all things and get through all things because God will not let us down or leave us.
 

Whatever you are going through today stop for just a minute and do this simple exercise, breathe in saying, “I can’t. Hold it for just a second. Exhale saying, but God can. Then release it. Let it go knowing you have just given it over to God and He will give you the power to succeed or overcome.
 
One final thought. How different would church be if on Sunday morning before the sermon we stopped and breathed in God and exhaled all those thoughts that would keep us from focusing on God’s message? What if we asked God to release us from those thoughts, worries and everyday stresses that keep us from really focusing on God and His message? I challenge you to try it this Sunday!
 
I challenge you also to lay down tonight and do the breathing exercise I gave my Bible study group. Breath in God, hold it, feel God’s Presence as He enfolds you in His arm and then release the days’ worries. I bet you’d get to sleep quicker and it is more restful.
 
God gives us tools to get through what we are going through. A nail can be hammered in if a hammer is never used. If we don’t use the tools God gives us then we aren’t going to be very successful in getting through what comes our way. Releasing worry and using God’s power is simple tools to get us through difficult circumstances. It takes practice and a lot of work, but in the end we will be successful if we only try.
 
Dear God, thank you for the tools you have given me to quench anxiety and stress. Remind me I can’t do anything without you doing it through me. It’s your power that allows me to do those things you have called me to do or to get through those difficult times. On my own I would fail, but using your power and believing you can I can be successful in all ways at all times. Thank you God. Amen. 
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