You’re out there, friend, somewhere on the other side of this screen.
I feel like I can sort of see you. Like maybe we’re mirror images, like we’re both wearing the careworn expression of people feeling a bit bent down by the heavy weight of worry. Like we both know where we’re supposed to take this burden — straight to Jesus — but we got a little lost on the way there.
Friend, I get you.
I was on the way home from church yesterday, looking out on these fresh-shaven farmfields. I felt so heavy in my soul.
Earlier, in the sanctuary, the gospel was spread open on my lap. I had read every word with my own two eyes — four times — and I willed myself to feel peace, but I felt anxiety. I had a pile of stuff crowding on my heart, and the gospel wasn’t touching any of it.
And not only did I feel sad, I felt guilty. And very un-Christian-y.
I wanted to breathe again.
And then I headed home. Out there on the open road from church to farm, I remembered that June day in 2004, in the delivery room, when Anna was making her entrance into the world fast, like she was destined to be a sprinter. There was no time for the guy to show up with the epidural.
I felt weighed down with pain, red-faced, and I didn’t think I was going to make it. But a nurse named Hope went nose-to-nose with me: “Breathe. Remember to breathe. You know how to breathe. So breathe.”
And then she reminded me how. She breathed with me, as Anna sprinted her way into the world.
Whatever we’re birthing? Whatever we’re carrying?
Hope is a midwife, telling us to breathe.
Out with the pain.
In with the Spirit.
Repeat, as often as necessary. And again and again. There’s no shortage of oxygen, no shortage of God.
And watch what happens, watch what beauty will be birthed when you breathe the steady rhythm of heaven.
God, the Master, told the dry bones, “Watch this: I’m bringing the breath of life to you and you’ll come to life. I’ll attach sinews to you, put meat on your bones, cover you with skin, and breathe life into you. You’ll come alive and you’ll realize that I am God!”
~ Ezekiel 37:5-6 (MSG)