Devotions

I Feel Like I Can't Breathe

November 8, 2017
“I am leaving you with a gift — peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.” John 14:27 (NLT)
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Do you ever have those days when you can’t find time to breathe?

The other day I was looking at 12 loads of laundry, with no food in the house besides goldfish crackers. It seemed like I could make a man out of the dust that clung to every item in our home, we had at least five different events on the calendar, my husband’s work schedule had doubled and I had a Sunday school lesson to get ready for church and a huge presentation for work the next week.

That night I fell into bed feeling exhausted and frustrated as the list of everything I didn’t accomplish ran through my mind. It felt like my head had hardly hit the pillow when my 9-year-old flew into the bathroom with an upset stomach. That woke-up my 2-year-old, who started asking every 10 minutes, “Mommy, it morning? I get out of bed?” In my exhaustion and stress, let’s just say, it was not my best mom moment.

The next morning, “mom guilt” set in. My normal, laid-back self had turned into a screaming, sleep-deprived, crazy woman. As I cried out my stress — which is what I do — I realized I couldn’t remember the last time I’d had a moment to just sit back and breathe.

I’m not talking about a spa day or even half an hour. I mean 15 minutes not consumed with something from the never-ending to-do list. One night I even caught myself walking in my sleep into the kitchen to clean.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m very thankful for the life God’s given me. I have an amazing husband, extremely loveable kids and a wonderful job. But even amidst the blessings of life, it’s easy to get overwhelmed with all there is to do and forget to pause and just breathe.

As I lay on the floor crying, I began to wonder …

When was the last time I focused on just me and God? When had I opened my Bible and just breathed in His words and basked in his goodness? It had been a while.

During lunch at work the next day, I pulled out my phone, plugged in my headphones, and started listening to my audio Bible. I inhaled and exhaled as I meditated on Jesus’ spoken words found in today’s key verse:

“I am leaving you with a gift — peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid” (John 14:27).

I felt it. As the calming narrator’s voice said those familiar and healing words, that gift of peace washed over me. For a few moments, the to-do lists were gone, and the stress faded away. I was transported to an intimate setting, hearing my Savior promise a Helper to His disciples and realizing His words are for me, too.

“If you love me, obey my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, who will never leave you” John 14:15-16 (NLT).

I am never abandoned! In my anxiety, in my joy. When I am at my best, when I am at my worst. The Holy Spirit is guiding me and reminding me of Jesus’ teachings.

On those days when I can’t seem to find a moment to take a breath, I need to connect with the life-giving Word of God that is living and breathing. The lists will never fully go away. There will always be another crisis or another responsibility. But there will also always be a peace that can only be found by taking time to breathe in God’s rejuvenating words of life.

Dear God, I’m sorry for the times I forget to connect with You to just spend time together. For when I get my priorities mixed up and put other things above You. Thank You for Your Holy Spirit, who is my Advocate and who guides me and teaches me — especially through the times when I can’t see straight. I am thankful for Your love and peace that sustains me and for the promise that You’ll never leave me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

TRUTH FOR TODAY:

Click to listen to John 14:15-29.

Hebrews 4:12, “For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires.” (NLT)

Psalm 29:11, “The Lord gives his people strength. The Lord blesses them with peace.” (NLT)

RELATED RESOURCES:

Let God’s peace envelop you as you experience an audio Bible that allows you to step out of our time and into the world of the New Testament. The life-giving breath of God will transform you as you listen to His voice through the Breathe Bible Audio New Testament. Get started by listening to the book of John for free at BreatheBible.com or on the Breathe Bible app.

CONNECT:

Enter to WIN a copy of Breathe Bible Audio New Testament. In celebration of this Bible, Tyndale House Publishers will give away 5 copies! Enter to win by leaving a comment here. {We'll randomly select 5 winners and email notifications to each one, by Monday, December 4, 2017.}

REFLECT AND RESPOND:

What’s God asking you to give over to Him in order to discover His peace? How often are you connecting with God and nurturing your relationship with Him?

Take your to-do list and pray over it, asking God to reveal to you places and times for you to breathe and reconnect with Him even in your busy daily schedule.

© 2017 by Evie Polsley. All rights reserved.

Proverbs 31 Ministries thanks Tyndale House Publisher for their sponsorship of today's devotion.

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