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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: In and Out (04/30/09)

TITLE: Breathe In, Breathe Out
By Nancy Kime
05/01/09


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The joke is an old one: A woman enters the beauty shop to get a haircut and warns the beautician to work around the headset she is wearing, but under no condition is she to remove it. Halfway through, she falls asleep, so the beautician removes the headset to cut around her ears. Suddenly the woman falls back in the chair, dead! The startled beautician grabs the headset to see what she was listening to, and hears a voice repeating, "Breathe in, breathe out..." A happy secret was birthed in me when I heard this joke, and I want to share it with you.

Life is full of things that take our breath away: a surprise visit from family or friends, good news in an email or on the phone, a special unexpected gift, a beautiful sunrise or sunset. We recover nicely from such moments, with only happy memories to cherish. Some, though, threaten to leave ugly lifelong scars. When they hit, we become like the woman wearing the headset, needing someone to instruct us to "breathe in, breathe out." The most normal of activities become more than we can handle. A family member becomes gravely ill, your car is totaled by a drunk driver and lives are lost, you receive a call that your home has been destroyed by fire or tornado. The natural physical reaction is to gasp, to draw a deep breath, to "breathe in" the tragedy. Holding that breath, that tragedy, we run to Jesus and pour our heart out to Him. That is prayer.

Problem is, we have "breathed in" but forgotten to "breathe out," and like the woman, we faint - or die. Somebody snatches our headset! Somebody messes with our mindset. We breathe in the truth of what has just happened, then somebody snatches our reminder-Voice, and we faint or die because we don't know what to do next! If we can just get our spiritual mindset back in place, the Voice would tell us to "breathe out." That's praise. We release our "breath" - our faith - in praise. Some say they would never praise God for negative circumstances, but I believe with all my heart that when we are in Christ there is no such thing as a negative circumstance. According to Romans 8:32, it's all good in Christ. When we realize this, praising Him through the midst of our darkest hours just makes good sense.

Philippians 4:6-7 says, Be anxious for nothing, but in every thing by prayer and supplication (breathe in) with thanksgiving (breathe out), let your requests be made unto God (breathe in), and the peace of God which passes all understanding (breathe out) shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus (We don't faint or die, because it is He who keeps our headset - our mindset - in place). Thank you, Jesus!


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This article has been read 321 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Jan Ackerson 05/11/09
Excellent illustration!
Sunny Loomis 05/12/09
Very good insights! Thank you.
Gregory Kane05/13/09
This story has it all - great opening laugh, unequivocal practical illustration, a clear message and a hit-you-between-the-eyes interpretation of Scripture. Perhaps a tad on the short side. An extra paragraph of the same quality of writing, maybe? But it's good. Well done.
Lollie Hofer 05/14/09
What a wonderful devotional wrapped around a good story. Well done! Congratulations on your well-deserved recognition.