Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Blessings in the Basics Week 1: Thank God I Can Breathe

"The Spirit of God has made me,
And the breath of the Almighty gives me life." 
Job 33:4
Her first breath took her straight out of my arms and into the nursery and then to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.  My little Abigail entered this world struggling to breathe. 
I was blue when I was born.  I was taken out of my mother's arms so the doctors could find my breath. 

His last breath was at the age of 67 after a battle with esophageal cancer.  Just recently, I lost my "Uncle" Dick, a very close friend to my parents--so close that I called him my uncle even though he wasn't.   
My mom recalls hearing her mother wheeze and struggle with her every breath as she walked up the stairs.  My grandma lost her battle to breathe at the young age of 49 from emphysema. 
Lately, I've been very aware of the miracle of breath.    
This month, I felt the Lord calling me to go back to the basics.  I needed to take my focus away from what the world wants me to see during this Christmas season--what I don't have, what I can't afford, and if I'm honest, what I really don't need. 
He's calling me to examine my life more closely to see the blessings in the very basic things starting with the breath of life.  
I don't always understand why some people's breaths in life are cut short or are difficult or are struggles.  Obviously I know some breaths end from their own choices...but some don't.  And those are the last breaths that I don't understand.  I don't know if I ever will or if I'm even supposed to. 
All I can do is know that God is good...have faith that He is always there to comfort us...and appreciate every breath He gives us.  
All I can do is know that my grandma and my Uncle Dick are with Jesus in Heaven and are no longer struggling to breathe anymore!
All I can do is thank God that my baby girl is now an incredibly healthy three year old who can breathe and run and jump and dance and talk and giggle and smell flowers! 
All I can do is thank God that when I check on her at night and put my hand on her back, I feel it rise and fall as she breathes in and out.  In her warm, quiet room, I am so grateful for her breath.

All I can do is thank God for giving me His breath of life when I was a baby and continuing to give me breath every day...every hour...every minute...every second. 
All I can do is thank God that His Breath gives us life. 
And when I look at life from that perspective---valuing every breath---nothing else really matters.  No gift that I give or bargain that I deal on Amazon Prime that I cookie that I tree that I decorate...nothing.  Nothing else seems all that important anymore.   
I can breathe!  Thank you God!  As you breathe in and out today, I pray that you will thank God too. 
Are you ready to be thankful for even the most basic things in life?  Are you ready to thank God for something so simple yet so life-giving as your breath?
Father, thank you for giving me Your Breath of life!  Thank you for shifting my focus from the views of the world...buying things....getting more being grateful for the basic things in life.  Thank you for opening my eyes to see that something as simple as breathing in and out is such a miracle...such a gift...such a blessing.  I am so grateful that You healed my daughter, and I'm so grateful for every breath she takes in this world.  I'm so grateful for every breath I take too.  Never let me take it for granted, and always help me to use each breath You give me to serve You in this world.  In Jesus' name. Amen.
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