Breathe DeepJuly 1, 2023 2023-07-01 8:02
18 When I said, “My foot is slipping, ”
your unfailing love, LORD, supported me.
19 When anxiety was great within me,
your consolation brought me joy. (NIV)
God does not fix everything immediately
The passage today reminds us that God does not show up and fix everything like a superhero. Instead, He consoles, He supports, He helps. I think we all wish sometimes He would move like a super-hero swooping in to save the day in a moment. Instead, He has given us the Holy Spirit to walk alongside us in support helping us to do the will of God.
Like Peter eventually sinking in the water, we struggle to keep our eyes on the Lord. If we would, God promises us perfect peace.
The Lord supports our slippage with love. In our fear of falling, the anxiety is real, but we know the love of God never fails. The Bible says the righteous have never been forsaken. We know this. God loves me this we know. The Bible says it. We have experienced it. Yet, in the moments of great stress, our eyes are distracted from it. And if perfect love drives out fear, in the absence of perfect love, fear takes over. So what do we do?
The answer is found in the consolation God brings to us in our times of distress. The word ‘consolation’ means to breathe deeply. The King James translates the word ‘anxiety’ as a ‘multitude of thoughts’ in my head. Isn’t this what anxiety does? It fills us with so many thoughts of ‘what-if,’ our heart is overwhelmed and depressed. Anxiety creates a force that rushes our minds. But the consolation of the Lord helps us to pause and breathe deep.
The Bible says to ‘be still and know’ He is God. In a world of rapidity and rushing, we must learn to slow down. It is the slowing down that helps us re-focus on the Lord to find His peace in our pandemonium. The Lord is not simply waiting for us to slow down, He is working to slow us down. Even now, in your fear and uncertainty, you can hear the voice of the Lord saying, “Come to me and I will give you rest.” Listen to His voice. Slow down. He will help you breathe deep and cover you in His peace.
Lord, help me to hear Your voice calling me to slow down. Teach me to turn off the devices and slow down my body each day so I can feel Your Presence next to me and breathe deep. Amen.
How has the pace of your life affected your level of anxiety?