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In stressful times we need to learn to turn to the Lord, to pause, create space for Him to show up, and take a moment to just breathe.
Do you ever wonder?
What type of impact the next person you meet will have on you, for better or for worse?
What the next season of life has in store for you?
What path that new career will lead you down and what new skills you might pick up along the way?
With an assortment of new endeavors entering my life the past couple of weeks. Many, if not all of the above questions have been running through my mind.
In the past month or so, I have started my second year of college, trained and started a new full-time job, AND welcomed close to seventeen new credits of schoolwork into my life. It’s a lot.
And as the stress has been piling on, I have been trying to shield it away combatting it with a rose-gold-siding-day-planner and reminder applications on my phone. In essence, micromanaging myself further and further from God.
In this time I found myself praising God less and less, and praising myself, as well as the people around me, more and more. My workload started to become a source of comfort, instead of the Lord, as well as a constant burden.
I don’t know about y’all, but whenever I get overwhelmed my mother would always tell me:
So one day, after many short breaths caused by stress, my heart was left feeling stirred up and temporarily without peace. I did just what my mother always told me… I just breathed. Though initially uncomfortable, this pause and breath humbled me. It enabled me to pause.
And when the dust settled, and my heartbeat slowed, it enabled me to listen.
Prior to this moment, my schedule looked like this: I would wake up every day and listen to the Psalm of the day- micromanaging time in for it (it became more of just another thing to check off my to-do list more than anything). While it was playing audibly in my room I would usually be multitasking, half-listening, and not really soaking in the message. I was being productive it seemed, but then again I wasn’t being changed.
Then, I had that moment. The moment that metaphorical dust in my life, aka the control I thought I “obtained” over my life, settled, and I was able to open my ears. I was able to actually hear the Psalms and let the words wash over me.
Instead of half-listening, I found myself attentively in tune, hanging onto every word of the Psalm- sometimes even re-playing it a couple of times. The first time I did this, God in His Godly fashion, lead me to Psalms 148 and Psalm 150. Both of these Psalms state that I should be praising the Lord and worshipping Him for his great works…and not my own.
“Let every created thing give praise to the Lord, for he issued his command, and they came into being.” – Psalm 148:5
Now friends, let me ask you this.
Do you ever just take that moment and appreciate that sweet, sweet oxygen? I mean, it is free.
From the very beginning, breathing is what we were made to do.
“Then the LORD God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living being.” – Genesis 2:7
I don’t know about you, but this makes me think. It makes me think of every breath that I take, the crazy science behind how it works, and what a blessing each breath is. Inhale Oxygen, exhale Carbon Dioxide. Each breath is a gift. It is a precious, thoughtful, and hand-made and only He can provide- only He can regulate and insure it.
“Let everything that breathes sing praises to the Lord! Praise the Lord.” – Psalm 150:6
So if we are breathing than we should be praising, and the only reason I shouldn’t be praising the Lord is if I am not breathing… right? So if I am breathing, then I need to be praising. So… are you praising? Are you using your breath to offer up your praises to the Lord? We are constantly breathing His breathe whether it be on earth or from the heavens, so let’s get to using our breath to praise Him!
There is always something to be thankful for and to be worshipping God for. As a little challenge write down three things that you are thankful for today? Share it with a friend, put it somewhere you will see it. Be aware of it and be vocal about it.
With this new season of life, of constantly moving and working, I can now see the impact in which the power of pausing and breathing has. The biggest of ways I see this is through growth. When you create time to pause, you create space to listen and then to hear from God. God never gives us anything we can’t handle, and when we pause we are welcoming Him into our life and whatever season we are in.
With this first step of my year-long journey underway, I have already seen myself grow in maturity and knowledge, but most importantly I have seen myself grow in faith. I have seen my reliance on the Lord grow, and that has helped me through all the stress and hardships and long long to-do lists because instead of micromanaging time in for the Lord, I am bringing Him into every moment of my life.
So, friends, I encourage you. Now and tomorrow and the next day, and even in those stressful times to take the time to pause, and “Just breathe.” Take it all in.
Breathe in, breathe out.
Know the Lord is always there without a doubt, and know that you will always have something to give him thanks and praise for!
Praise the Lord!
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