Freedom to Breathe

freedomAt work the other day, as I was helping to set up for an event, one of my coworkers posed a question. How would you explain, in a single sentence, what it means to follow Christ?

It took me some time to answer. There were so many sentences I could say.  I’m a blogger, I joked. I need 800 words not one sentence!  😉

The freedom to breathe.

That was the sentence that came out of my mouth.

Why?

Because the freedom to breathe makes me think of David whenever he spoke about the Lord rescuing his life.   

“He brought me out to a spacious place; He rescued me because He delighted in me.” Ps 18:19

“I called to the Lord in distress; the Lord answered me and put me in a spacious place.” Ps 118: 5

“I hate those who are devoted to worthless idols,
but I trust in the Lord
I will rejoice and be glad in Your faithful love

because You have seen my affliction.
You have known the troubles of my life
 and have not handed me over to the enemy.
You have set my feet in a spacious place.” Ps 31: 6-8

I love the Message translation of these few passages in Psalm 31 too…”I hate all this silly religion, but you, God, I trust. I’m leaping and singing in the circle of your love; you saw my pain, you disarmed my tormentors, You didn’t leave me in their clutches but gave me room to breathe.” 

Room to breathe.  This is the explanation for the answer that came out of my mouth the other day. This is what following Christ means to me personally.

Breath is life and we can’t live without it.

Jesus has given me the ability to truly live and move. It makes sense for me now to spend the rest of my days pursuing the One who gave me this room to breathe…. listening to Him…following Him.

I know what my life once looked like and felt like without the freedom to breathe.  Never again.   

**********

This morning I read the following verses in John 20 after Jesus was resurrected and came to see the disciples. 

“In the evening of that first day of the week, the disciples were gathered together with the doors locked because of their fear of the Jews. Then Jesus came, stood among them, and said to them, “Peace to you!”

 Having said this, He showed them His hands and His side. So the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord.

 Jesus said to them again, “Peace to you! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.” After saying this, He breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.  If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.”

Did you notice how Jesus equipped his disciples to go out into the world and to follow him?  He breathed on them. He gave them himself. He gave them the power to share this breath and this life with others.  And that breath, that gift of the Holy Spirit, is the same breath offered to us today.

Jesus give us the freedom to breathe and then calls us to share that same life and that same freedom with others.

As I was writing this post, Awake My Soul by Chris Tomlin came to mind.

“Breathe on me, breath of God, breathe on me
Breathe on me, breath of God, breathe on me
I come alive, I’m alive when you breathe on me
I come alive, I’m alive when you breathe on me

Awake, awake, awake my soul,
God resurrect these bones
From death to life, for you alone
Awake my soul”

Again He said to me, “Prophesy to these bones, and say to them, ‘O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord!  Thus says the Lord God to these bones: “Surely I will cause breath to enter into you, and you shall live.  I will put sinews on you and bring flesh upon you, cover you with skin and put breath in you; and you shall live. Then you shall know that I am the Lord.”’” Ezekial 37: 4-6

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.