This world can be a heavy place.
The kind of heavy that presses down and makes it hard to breathe.
We rush to outrun pain and busy ourselves to forget the crushing weight of days and months and years that don’t turn out the way we thought they would. All of us who have lived a little while know it, that pounding of a frenzied heart racing to keep a desperate body moving. And we push on like we’re been chased by time, carrying that airless ache in our chests.
Jesus’ followers had been with Him for three years, living like nomads, always going, always pressing on to the next thing. They followed the Miracle Man from town to town, their own excitement swirling and swelling with the needy crowds.
Surely now they would see the victory they had been waiting for. Surely now Jesus would rescue them from their Roman oppressors and put his disciples in places of prominence.
And then the breathless truth…
They watched their Friend betrayed by one of their own. They heard His pleading sobs to be rescued from what He knew was coming. They saw their Hope dying like a criminal.
Oh, how they must have gasped hard against the grief.
The One who made the first man out of dust and breathed him to life hung outstretched, chest convulsing for the air He had created.
And then He committed Himself into His Father’s hands and with His last breath gave us Life.
Eternity stopped time in its tracks so our restless searching could come to an end. No more panicked racing. No more airless ache.
Just grace like oxygen filling the burning craving inside us.
And us, still.
Breathe, friend. Trust yourself to your Father’s hands. Let Him hold you still, and breathe more deeply than you ever knew you could.
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“And what do you do?”
It’s a normal question, a defining question. Tell me what you do with your time, so I can understand who you are.
For a lot of us, if we’re honest, the answer would be, “I wait.”
We wait for the next thing, wait for the kids to be grown, wait for our ship to come in, wait for the right relationships, wait for our dreams to come true and our questions to be answered. And sometimes the waiting drives us a little out of our minds.
We fidget and spin circles, and our impatience drives us so hard against tomorrow that we forget to see today.
We forget to see the truth.
Waiting is close to God’s heart.
We’re born with an instinct to be curled inward, legs pulled up and fists closed tight. It’s what feels natural and comfortable. As we grow, our bodies adapt and learn to function stretched tall and open, but a lot of us keep living in an emotional fetal position. We’re afraid to be seen and known. We’re afraid of pain and loss and not having enough.
When an old year slides out like a sigh and another one begins, there’s a natural pause at the cusp of all the newness. A lot of us stop and do some thinking.
What do I want from this new year?
How do I kick off the things that have been tying me down in my health, my finances, my career, my relationships?
How do I find freedom?