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As I was driving home this weekend from my sister's house, I saw a sign on the overpass with the words, "Are you breathing?"
Obviously this sign referred to the senseless death of George Floyd.
But, as I thought about it, I also realized that Covid-19 took away the breath of many people. As we all know, this virus attacks the lungs, leaving its victims unable to perform the most basic of needs—breathing.
The verse that immediately came to me was:
"Then the Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature." (ESV)
What sets us apart from every other created animal? God Himself breathed into us.
EVERY human being gets their life from God.
But what do we do with that breath? Scripture tells us...
"Give me not up to the will of my adversaries; for false witnesses have risen against me, and they breathe out violence." (ESV)
Our country has seen so much violence over the last few weeks. Unfortunately, there are those who "breathe out violence." Anger and bitterness can breed this kind of aggression.
Forgiveness can put an end to it ... even undeserved forgiveness.
Satan wishes to divide us. That is not God's will. Yet, here we are living in a divided world in many ways, a divided country with divided families.
In John 20, Jesus met with his disciples after He rose from the grave.
"After He showed them His hands and his side, He said, 'Peace be with you...' (ESV) '...He breathed on them and said to them, 'Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you withhold forgiveness from any, it is withheld.'” ( ESV)
As Jesus breathed the Holy Spirit on them, He spoke of forgiveness. We need to be filled with the Holy Spirit in order to live the life God wants us to and be able to give forgiveness as well.
What are we to do with this breath the LORD gave to us?
"Let everything that has breath praise the Lord!" (ESV)
I saw many videos of people praising God instead of the hateful, hurtful speech and actions of some. Where there is praise, the Spirit of God resides. God is the answer for this world.
We are broken. Only Jesus can fix what is broken...
He gave us His Word so we may know Him and His ways. It says in 2 Timothy:
"All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness." (ESV)
God breathed out His Word as Jesus breathed out His Spirit on those He breathed life into. His Word with the power of the Holy Spirit can change the hardest or most wounded heart. His Word will teach us His ways and His will, it shows us our faults and sin, it corrects us and judges our intentions, and it trains us to be righteous and mature.
Without God's Word, we will not grow and mature.
How can we understand His Word?
But it is the spirit in a man and the breath of the All-powerful that gives him understanding. (NLV)
Take a deep breath...because you can.
Let the Spirit of God heal our wounds as we forgive. Let us love our neighbors as ourselves.
Copyright © June 2020 Stephanie Pavlantos, used with permission.
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