Be Still, Be Quiet and Breathe
Psalm 46:10- He says, "Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth."
When I was a child, my extended family often met down by the river in Tennessee for family campouts. We would swim, water ski, fish all day, then cook over the fire and play music in the evening. I always enjoyed those trips with my grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. There is nothing like family voices singing in harmony by the campfire.
My uncle would often have us grab a pole and sit by the river with him. He needed help catching the night's supper. I loved fishing except for one part, well, maybe two. I still do not like to take my fish off the hook.
On a recent camping trip to Alabama, I was reminded of the other thing that I didn't like about fishing. You had to be quiet and still, or the fish wouldn't bite. Now that I am older, I realize this was just a scheme to make kids sit still and focus, but also a ploy by a fisherman who wanted to fish, not talk.
Being still and quiet have always been a struggle for me. It must be one of the reasons God put such a love for the outdoors in my heart. He must have read the comment section of all those reports cards I collected in school. I was social. That is a nice way to put it. When I finished my homework, there was always one, maybe ten, around me who needed my help. What was I to do? One teacher in the third grade commented that I was a good class manager. I don't think she necessarily appreciated my skill, though. My conduct grade showed her comment's real meaning.
Those managerial skills did lead me to graduate with a 3.98 and ace my Praxis to become a teacher. I use my voice and animation to teach hundreds of students five days a week. Helping others learn has always been something that has brought me so much joy and fulfillment. Leading others to truth and understanding is a calling I can not outrun. It is ingrained in every cell in my body.
You have to learn a lesson or three when you have a calling. The most important lesson I have learned is the lesson my uncle tried to teach me by the river. Be still and be quiet.
Today's schedules are so full there is no time to breathe.
I have actually seen studies explaining that our health is declining because we are not taking the time to breathe deeply enough to supply enough oxygen to our brains. There are entire health programs that teach you how to breathe to improve your brain function and help with depression and anxiety. There is an app for that. People are scheduling time to breathe.
Why is this happening? A pandemic is stealing breath and lives. A declining moral code. War. There are many factors and situations, but they all stem back to the same cause. When God created us, his breath filled our lungs and brought our souls to life. Pure, perfect breath from a God who loved us and wanted us to love him back. Our souls still seek that breath. It craves it. Only God's genuine breath can curb the craving.
Genesis 2: 7 And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.
Be still; take some deep breaths. We have all been told this. We have probably all said this to someone else. It seems it is an automatic response to many different situations in our life. We constantly remind each other to be still and breathe without understanding why.
So here it is, your reminder to be still and breathe.
Oxygen gives the body the power to restore itself. Oxygen detoxifies the blood from impurities and strengthens the immune system. Oxygen supersedes deadly free radicals, neutralizes environmental toxins, and eradicates anaerobic bacteria, parasites, viruses, and microbes.
Your body will automatically go into fight mode when deprived of Oxygen. It is totally dependent on it for life. See what Oxygen does for the body parallels the purpose of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the breath of God. We must have it to live a life that is one with God. The Spirit provides the soul with restoration and rids the soul of sin. Sin like parasites, bacteria, and viruses will kill our souls and body. It also gives strength and power. We need to breathe Oxygen for the body and the Holy Spirit for our soul. Both are susceptible to weakness, sickness, and death.
I mentioned my love of the outdoors. It is my favorite place to breathe. When I am camping and watching the clouds, fishing and observing the water, celebrating God's creation has a way of settling my spirit and reminding me of my place in it.
Thousands of people run to the mountains, beaches, lakes, woods, forests, and even creeks for rest every weekend. Most do not understand why they crave silence and breathing fresh air. They haven't considered it may be because their soul is dying a little every day the same way our body is.
Daily life and stress drain our strength, takes our joy, destroy our relationships, rob us of our mental health, and cause illness and disease. Those who do not know God, the restorer of our mind, body, and soul, are seeking elusive fulfillment and healing they will never find unless we point the way.
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” - John 16:33
Have you ever really listened when the stewardess explains emergency procedures? They stress over and over to place your oxygen mask on first! Why? Because you cannot help anyone else if you are not breathing yourself.
Spiritual breath works the same as Oxygen. Take the time to breathe in God's Spirit and strength. Be still and breathe. Listen for God's voice and feel His strength enter your mind, body, and soul. The Bible contains many parallels and parables to support this simple lesson. You must find the place where you can be still and breathe in the breath that gave you life. Just take time to be in His presence.
I have spent time with God in many places. But the place I feel the closest to Him is when I am humbled in the background of His magnificent creation. I heard Him that day on the water as I held a fishing pole. I have heard Him while looking into a campfire, and I have felt him in the wind. When you take the time to breathe, you will find Him, and He will restore you, mind, body, and soul. Just be still and breathe in His presence.
This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Look! I am going to put breath into you and make you live again! - Ezekiel 37:5
Psalm 37:7 Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way, over the man who carries out evil devices!
Beautifully written loved even more the 2nd time