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  • Writer's pictureMichelle Graber

Be Still…and Breathe

While having lunch with a friend, I shared some recent frustrations that have taken place in my life. One of the points that I made was a feeling about what someone else thought of me. I felt hurt, uncertainty, and deception. My lunch friend reminded me whose I am and told me to find the peace in what God says about me, not what other people say about me…and I’d like to tell you that I felt instantly better, but it took several days of prayer and petition, humility, and learning how to breathe again before I started to re-see me. I still don't think I see me with quite as much love as God sees me.

Everyone faces challenges. Staying in the valley is not where God wants us to be unless we invite him to be there with us. Then, the valley isn't such a bad place. As children of the most high God, we are overcomers, victors. God is with us in those valleys, carrying our burdens when they become too heavy--giving us time to breathe, time to be still with God, time to listen for His whisper. When my burden becomes too heavy, I often turn to my friends first for counsel, for advice, but this week, I turned all my attention to God, and this is what I learned:

  1. Just Breathe. Just the act of breathing in and out kept me alive this week. More than once I heard God saying to me, "just breathe." Going back to this basic connection to life reminded me how essential breathing is not only for living but also for finding calm and reducing stress. When I focused on breathing, other concerns fell away and helped me focus on God.

  2. Be still. Psalm 46:10, says, “Be still, and know that I am God.” Even brief moments of stillness help to remind me who is with me in the valley: God; in a battle: God; when I'm weary: God. I might seek counsel from my friends from time to time, and God might even put them in my way for support and direction, but I should always look to God first. I have not always been doing that. I needed some moments of stillness to remind me whose I am.

  3. Pray. Prayer can take place in a lot of positions. This week, I’ve prayed just about everywhere. Yet, the rawest, most heartfelt prayers came in the moments when I was just breathing and being still. In these moments, I felt closest to God. Philippians 4:6-7 says, “6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

  4. Rejoice. Philippians 4:4 says, “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!” This comes before 4:6, but I didn’t do this first. I was in the valley, struggling to carry my burden. Once I lay my burdens down to God in prayer, I started getting responses. They came slowly—not because God wanted me to stay in the pain but because I wasn’t ready to receive God’s gift. God is constantly teaching me, refining me, making me better. For this, I rejoice! Always!!

God is good. Like when parents let children struggle, God let me struggle a bit this week. Yet, He is with me in every moment, teaching me to trust Him—probably also continuing to work on my patience. (Patience has never been one of my strengths.)

Friends, stay in faith. Wait on God fulfill His purpose for you. While you wait, don't forget to breathe in deeply; then, breathe out. Repeat. God has a plan for you (Jeremiah 29:11). God has a grand design, and each of God’s children plays a role. In all things, turn to God. Taste and see that the Lord is good (Psalm 34: 8). Be still, and breathe.



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