“You can do it, Shellie. Take a deep breath.” Right. Easy for her to say, I thought to myself. She was practically a grown-up. I was eight, maybe nine. My older sister, Cyndie, was twelve and she was standing on the ground with her hands propped on her hips, looking up at me and encouraging me to jump from the top of Papa’s equipment shed.
From where I sat it looked like an awfully long way to the grass, but Cyndie had just performed the miraculous feat before my very eyes and she looked none the worse for wear. I looked at our sister Rhonda, who it should be noted had shown great wisdom in not climbing on top of the shed in the first place. My middle sister shrugged her shoulders at me as if to say, “You’re on your own.”
Thanks for nothing, Rhonda. After additional input from Cyndie that included a well-timed double dog dare with instructions to hold my breath and go for it, I jumped.
Fast forward a few years. “Y’all are okay. Take a deep breath.” I remember hearing the same line, only this time I was standing near a mangled car, sobbing in pain and more than a little traumatized. Rhonda was bloody and Cyndie was lying on the ground being tended to by serious looking paramedics. I thought she looked far too still. “Take a deep breath,” the paramedic said that day. And I tried, but the only thing I could inhale was more fear. Although I didn’t know it at the time, my sisters would be fine. We all would.
In the years since that incident, I’ve been told to take a breath and I’ve told others to take a breath. No doubt there have been times in your life when someone has given you the same advice. It’s supposed to be calming, relaxing, even energizing. And it is, but I’d love to recommend a different sort of deep breath I’ve been blessed to discover that is oh-so-superior. This deep breath never fails to encourage me.
Whether we’re faced with the biggest pump shed jump of our life, the type of fear and sorrow that kicks us in the gut, or a case of the worries that just won’t go quit, help is just a prayer away. The option is to “go it alone” and although we may intellectually agree that going it alone isn’t a good option, we can be all be prone to attempting to forge ahead on sheer will without even realizing we’re doing it.
How much better it is to turn towards our Heavenly Father and take a deep spiritual breath by steadying ourselves in His love and being encouraged by the promises found in His word. His loving Presence is available to each of us if we’ll just call out to him through His Son and our Savior. Tell me, do you need encouragement for the challenges life is handing you? Turn to God and take a deep breath