Just Breathe

Just Breathe!

It’s that time of year again.  Depending on our circumstances, we have just finished celebrating Thanksgiving (or suffered through the day). We have depleted our strength and bank account shopping the Black Friday sales or stressed ourselves out because we don’t have enough money to get the good deals. Christmas is looming and our families and loved ones, our friends, our churches, etc., have so many expectations of us.

The following is one of my favorite songs that feels like a whispered love note to me coming by way of God’s own sweet breath. The lyrics are from a free site, so I have copied them for you. (You can also download the music from You Tube or various music sites.)

Breathe

Jonny Diaz

Alarm clock screaming bare feet hit the floor
It’s off to the races everybody out the door
I’m feeling like I’m falling behind, it’s a crazy life

Ninety miles an hour going fast as I can
Trying to push a little harder trying to get the upper hand
So much to do in so little time, it’s a crazy life
It’s ready, set, go it’s another wild day
When the stress is on the rise in my heart I feel you say just

Breathe, just breathe
Come and rest at my feet
And be, just be
Chaos calls but all you really need
Is to just breathe

Third cup of joe just to get me through the day
Want to make the most of time but I feel it slip away
I wonder if there’s something more to this crazy life
I’m busy, busy, busy, and it’s no surprise to see
That I only have time for me, me, me
There’s gotta be something more to this crazy life
I’m hanging on tight to another wild day
When it starts to fall apart in my heart I hear you say just

Breathe, just breathe
Come and rest at my feet
And be, just be
Chaos calls but all you really need

Is to take it in, fill your lungs
The peace of God that overcomes
Just breathe (just breathe)
let your weary spirit rest
Lay down what’s good and find what’s best
Just breathe (just breathe)

Just breathe, just breathe
Come and rest at my feet
And be, just be
Chaos calls but all you really need
Is to just breathe
Just breathe

-Songwriters: Jonathan Lindley Smith / Jonny Diaz / Tony Wood

-Breathe lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

 

Sound familiar?  Never mind the holidays, every day life is so busy and many times chaotic, especially with children. There is never enough time. Never enough energy. Never enough…  And now in addition to this overfilled calendar, we are expected to add all of the busyness of the Christmas -New Year holiday period; special projects, cooking, baking, extra cleaning and decorating, shopping, social engagements, etc. Too often we can become exhausted and stressed past our limit, and morph into some angry alien taking over our body. Goodness! How are we supposed to enjoy this most beautiful and holiest of seasons, for Heaven’s sake?

Did you read the words in the chorus above? (These are to be heard as words Jesus is speaking to you.)

Breathe, just breathe
Come and rest at my feet
And be, just be
Chaos calls but all you really need

Is to take it in, fill your lungs
The peace of God that overcomes
Just breathe (just breathe)
let your weary spirit rest
Lay down what’s good and find what’s best
Just breathe (just breathe)

 

Psalm 46:10a, “God says, Be still and know that I am God.”

God calls to you lovingly and urges you to stop what you are doing, if even just for a moment, to be still and listen…listen to the stillness until you feel the presence of God with you. If you think you don’t have time, you are wrong. The truth is that you don’t have time to NOT stop, be still, and wait on him because His presence will stop time, will cause the stress to fall away, will infuse you with strength, will cause joy to bubble up and flow out of you; His presence will renew you.  There are other times you will need to spend quality time being still in His presence, but during this crazy glorious season, a moment here and there will make all the difference you need to power you through the work and responsibilities of the season to enable you to soak up the joy and glory of the season. Every time you feel your strength waning or your spirit sagging, Stop…be still…listen…until you are aware of the Lord’s presence and let him renew you.

When the holidays are past, and you head into next year walking out your life journey, take the moments of stillness farther and deeper. Take time to be still before the Lord and really bask in His presence, meditate on His words, breathe him in, make awareness of his presence a constant part of your being.

Matthew 11:28-30 (from The Message, and again, Jesus is speaking to you)

“Are you tired?  Worn out? Burned out on religion?  Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me- watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”

And don’t forget to be thankful. Every day. For every thing. “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” I Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NIV)

Dr. Daniel Amen wrote:  “Practicing gratitude literally helps you have a brain to be grateful for. The act of writing down your grateful thoughts helps to bring your attention to them to enhance your brain. When you express gratitude on a regular basis, you will be healthier, more optimistic, make more progress toward your goals, have a greater sense of well-being, and be more helpful to others.”

 

It is so interesting that we get rewarded in an unexpected way for our gratefulness. Isn’t it just like our God – no matter what we give to Him, he always gives back more, always outgives us, always outloves us!

God bless you this Christmas season!  May the light of God’s love, mercy, and grace shine on you and your loved ones. May the peace beyond all understanding fill your heart and household.