Take Hold of Life . . . Breathe

One of my faith sisters, Liz Curtis Higgs, wrote:
“I love to make lists, set goals, and plan my days… It feels so good when we finish a task and check it off. Done.

But lately, God has been showing me that Real Life isn’t about to-do lists. It’s about breathing. It’s about embracing what Christ has already accomplished. It’s about freedom. It’s about being motivated by God’s love, instead of by man’s expectations. It’s about experiencing a genuine revival of our child-like faith.

Revival literally means “restored to life.” Life with a capital “L”. Life the way it’s meant to be.

Revival is why Jesus came to earth, and made His home in our hearts. “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full” (John 10:10).

And revival is what the Women of Faith team prays for when they walk through the back door of an arena, and you walk through the front. Help us all, Lord Jesus. Teach us how to “take hold of the life that is truly life” (1 Timothy 6:19).

Here’s the tricky part: we need both hands to grab onto that kind of Life. When our hands are full and our calendars as well, we haven’t allowed room for God to fill us with His Spirit. We’re living and breathing, but not really alive in Christ…This season I’m learning to cross things off my to-do list. Not because I’ve already done them, but because I don’t need to do them. Amazing what a little white space on a calendar page can do for our spiritual growth.

We can look up with expectation. We can look forward with a sense of peace. We can breathe again.
Restore us, O God —Psalm 80:3”

I realize that many of us are being ruled by the list and all the things we HAVE to get done yet NEVER seem to really accomplish.

In the stage of life, space and time I currently occupy, I’m keenly and profoundly aware that I have wasted time doing much too much of everything and nothing.

Watching a loved one’s health decline is a sobering thing. So much feeling and thinking occur. I have questions that have no answers. I have emotions with no outlet. I have “stuff” to do that isn’t getting done. That’s why my recent reading is impacting my mind and heart so strongly. I want and need to breathe and what I know for sure is I am not alone.

Dear ones, let’s pause today and breathe. That’s right: inhale…exhale…do it again. Lift your hands and arms toward heaven; open your mouth wide and ask Abba for whatever it is that you need for a revived and restored soul. It may just be that He will direct you to shove some stuff off your to-do list, and then direct you to set yourself down and allow His Spirit to speak. Will you hear? Will you listen? Will you obey?

Stephanie Paul

Stephanie serves as part of the Addiction Recovery Team at America’s Keswick as Director of Women of Character. She has been married for over 30 years to Sesky Paul who is a graduate of the Colony of Mercy. They have two grown children.
Her single focus in ministry at Keswick is to image Christ in grace and truth to wounded and hurting women, encouraging them to make Jesus the truest Lover of their soul and the One in whom all hope lies.

1 http://www.womenoffaith.com/2014/07/learning-breathe/

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