It had been a long and hard day as I pulled my car into the driveway up on Rocky Top. As I did, my breath was immediately taken away. I gasped. The beauty was stunning. The pink azalea bush had come into full bloom overnight. The sight of the beauty against the back drop of the lake was like salve to my weary soul.
I’ve had many moments that take my breath away:
- Holding each of my children in my arms the first time
- Watching my daughters walk down the aisle to their grooms
- Hearing my adult son say words of wisdom
- Watching a sunset while holding the hand of my husband of 37 years
- Holding my grandchildren in my arms for the first time
- Being a part of someone coming to know Christ
At moments like the above, it is as if time stands still and God’s love, joy and peace fills my heart.
Then there are those moments when your breath is knocked out of you. The room begins to spin and you feel as if you are in a dream and just can’t wake up. You know those moments:
- The sudden death of a loved one
- The doctor’s diagnosis of a serious illness
- A spouse or parent breaking the commitment of forever
- The decisions or actions of ungodly people
- The loss of a job
- The betrayal of a friend
Unfortunately, I have experienced several of the above moments. God has taught me and is still teaching me the following principals.
- Remember the moments He has taken your breath away with His goodness, mercy and love. He is still that same God. Psalm 105:5 says: “Remember the wonders he has done, the miracles…”Our memory is a powerful tool. Use it wisely.
- Declare Who He is: Sovereign, Good, Faithful, Loving and Kind. Circumstances may be difficult and people may deeply disappoint us. Yet our God is faithful! “Know therefore that the Lord your God is God; He is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commands.” Deuteronomy 7:9
- Praise Him and Thank Him. When we praise Him and thank Him, the enemy flees. In II Chronicles 20, Jehoshaphat appointed men to sing to the Lord praises. As they sang praises, the Lord confused the enemy and they were defeated.
- Don’t Panic. Recently there has been a viral video of a paddle boarder with 15 sharks circling him posted on Facebook. The sheriff’s department announced to the paddle boarder to “exit the water in a calm manner.” When the enemy is circling us, staying calm and moving toward shore in a steady manner will ensure our survival. Panic causes us to make stupid decisions.
- BREATHE: Your breath might have been knocked out but God is more than capable of breathing His life into you. In Ezekiel 37, God brought Ezekiel into The Valley of Dry Bones. God asked him, “Son of man, can these bones live?” Ezekiel said, “O Sovereign Lord, you alone know.” Then the Lord said, “Prophesy to these bone and say to them, ‘Dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. This is what the Sovereign Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you and you will come to life.’ ” When the breath is knocked out of you, He can breathe His new life into you. He is capable of turning that nightmare into a miracle.