Holding My Breath

Guest Author: Lydia Mammen

When I was younger, I loved taking risks. I loved flirting with danger. I loved swimming as well. Often, when I would go swimming, I would see how long I could hold my breath underwater. I would try to go longer and longer each time. Sometimes I could go longer, and it was so awesome to last longer than I thought I could. But then the inevitable happened. Every time, after a minute or so, I would spring up for a huge gulp of air. I needed it. The sensation of not being able to breathe scared me. Even when I wanted to push my limits, I always had to come up for air. Pushing my limits did get me far, but not nearly as far as when I had air.

Jesus is my air. Sometimes its funky to think like that, but really it’s quite true. I need Him like I need the air. Yet often, like those old days in the pool, I find myself trying to hold my breath. I flirt with doing things on my own. I attempt to take on life without Jesus. I start thinking I can do life without oxygen. I push myself to go farther. I let the world blind my eyes. The longer I go without Him, the closer to real danger I get. But thankfully, grace hits me and I realize that I NEED AIR. I need Jesus. It’s not just that I want Him, but my body, mind, and soul NEED HIM. When I try to do life without Him, I grow weak and weary and feel the life drain from me as I try to “hold my breath.” I become exhausted. Attempting life without Jesus drains us.

Much like our physical bodies need air to live, our spiritual lives need Jesus to survive. We can try to push the limits as much as we want, but eventually we will have to come up for air.

So friend, will you join me in stopping this ugly habit? Just as dangerous as it was for me to hold my breathe underwater, is the danger of “holding my breathe” in this life as a disciple of Christ. I can’t do it alone. I can’t do it without Jesus. He Himself reminds us of this:

I am the vine, you are the branches. Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing.John 15:5

Apart from Him we surely can’t do a single thing. So let’s stop trying to hold our breath and let’s walk to where He is. Let’s realize that He is our life support. Let’s surrender and accept our need for Him, which is much greater than we think.

As I begin to do this, I find that my heart beats stronger with Him. My lungs stop giving out.

Sometimes, we just have to be reminded that we are always in desperate need of Him. Sometimes we don’t like to face that truth. But friends, the more we fight it, the harder it gets.

We need air. We need Jesus.

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