Focus and Breathe

When I was pregnant with my first child, I went to a Lamaze class, and one of the things the nurse taught us, was to have something to focus on, during one’s contractions.   I chose a verse–Hebrews 12: 1,2.   Was that helpful?  Yes, it was really, really helpful.  The class also taught us not to give in to the fear of the unknown, but to breathe and focus throughout labor.  Was this helpful–yes, it was really, really helpful.  (In fact after our first child was born, my husband turned to me and said, “That wasn’t as bad, as I thought it was going to be.”)

What is the point of this story?   Right now, many people are feeling very, very anxious.  We just came through a pandemic, with shut downs and quarantines.  We have seen gas prices more than double in the past year.  We are seeing food prices rise, and are being told that we could see massive inflation by the fall.   There is good reason to be anxious.

So what can we do—we can focus our thoughts, and we can breathe.   Why?  Because it really, really helps.

We can focus our thoughts on the truth.

Lately, I’ve been focusing on one truth in particular:

2Co 5:17

Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.

What does this mean?  In Romans Chapter 6—It spells out what this means—I am going to paraphrase it for you—it says that when Jesus died on the cross–our sin natures were crucified with Him.  So our sin natures are dead, and we are new creatures in God’s eyes.  He sees us as His children, without sin before Him.

Now–we don’t ‘feel’ without sin, we in fact still give in the temptation to sin.  But God says–sin actually has no power over us–anymore–in fact–we are dead to sin, and alive to Christ.

We are to present ourselves to God, and He will give us the power to turn away from sin.  He sees us as a new creature—the old creature is dead in His eyes.  He wants me and He wants you to see ourselves in this way too.  

The new creature wants to obey Him.  The new creature wants to please Him.  The new creature wants to walk with Him.  The new creature loves God and loves others.  The new creature forgives.  The new creature gives grace and kindness to others.

So—when I am aware that I am acting like the old person that has passed away, I say to myself, “That is not me.  That is not who God has made me to be.  I am a new creature.  This old person is dead, and has no power over the new creature.  I surrender to you Lord, so that I can live out Your truth–that I am a new creature.”

The new creature is not afraid.  The new creature is not anxious.  The new creature knows her God, and trusts in His love and provision.  

The new creature focuses on the truth, and the new creature breathes in the truth.

Will this help during these trying times?   Yes, I promise you, this will really, really help!!

May We Be Encouraged!!