Don’t Forget to Breathe

During a Junior High school gym class, we were learning to use the weights for building muscles. It was in one of these classes I remember hearing what I thought was the dumbest advice ever. The teacher would repeatedly say, “Don’t forget to breathe.”

What made it seem so incredibly stupid was that I did not think about breathing at all. This one part of my life was completely involuntary. It was innate action that kept me alive. It did not require me to remember it at any point in time. Why would I need to think about it while lifting weights?

It wasn’t too long after we started that I realized what he was saying. When encountered with lifting a heavyweight, the natural tendency is to hold your breath and push harder to overcome the obstacle. When things get strenuous, the temptation is to forget to breathe.

These words resonated through my head recently as I anticipate the coming six weeks or more. Life is out off-kilter with the shutdown for the coronavirus, springtime is arriving, there is the anticipation of things starting to open again, and a busy schedule is looming on the horizon. I can feel myself starting to tense up and the weight of incoming burdens beginning to weigh me down.

“Don’t forget to breathe” may be the best advice I can give you this week and this year. Take time to step back and feel the oxygen move over your lungs. Pause and reflect each day on the way God is working in your life. Build moments into every day that will allow you rest and freedom. Don’t tense up; be willing to give it all over to God.

Whenever your days are overwhelming, breathe deep the breath of God. You will get through this, and he will use it for his glory.

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