Breathing is one of the essential practices of the body that our bodies automatically do without us having to consciously think about it every single moment of the day. We breathe because we need to. Healthy breathing is deep, full, and restorative. Most of the time, we are not generally conscious of our breaths.
I consider myself fairly conscious of my breath. I will notice inhales and exhales and can control and breathe deeply like a singer or athlete or a baby most of the time. But I become incredibly conscious of my breathing when I cannot breathe like I should be able to.
Right now I’ve got a cold that complicated itself into bronchitis. It is not a whole lot of fun. But it has made me extremely conscious of my breathing. I try to fill my lungs and it feels like I just can’t quite get there. They won’t fill. No matter how much I inhale I still feel a bit lightheaded or weak.
It is shortlived (I hope). I’ve gone to see a doctor and I have new and fun drugs to try to clear my lungs out. I need my breath. I need to be able to breathe deeply. I still have to preach on Sunday. Last Sunday was an interesting exercise where I was not nearly as strong as I am used to. It was a short sermon and I was depending on the strength of the Spirit to get me through.
Really, that’s what I’ve been doing since the cold. Depending on the strength of the Spirit. I really need to do it more often. I am nearly not quite thankful for my cold and for my bronchitis, because it helps to remind me that even when I am healthy I am relying on the strength of God.
When I am under my own power, I can try to fill myself up as much as possible, but when I stop I find that I am still not all the way full. I find that my own strength is not enough, my own effort is not enough.
God uses my weakness to remind me of God’s own strength.
I’ll keep breathing in the Spirit, and try to fill myself up as much as possible with the force that gives even more life than air. It takes practice, but I am going to keep breathing for the foreseeable future. It is my practice of breathing the breath of God.