The breath goes in and leaves again My soul is so aware In ways I've not felt when It was commonplace My days were commonplace I thought Moving here and going there Whenever I chose But the moments have stilled Inside alone stretching ahead Questioning my worth When time feels muffled And the question comes Where is my worth What is my value If only breathing is left? Is it true? That every breath counts? That God numbers every hair That He sees every sparrow falling? The breath goes in and leaves again My soul is so aware That Holy Spirit breathing in me Is life enough for eternity --bg
Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.Matthew 10:29-31 NIV
The Occipital Neuralgia pains had begun to return, and I knew that I needed to be honest with the Pain Specialist at my visit last week. So when his words echoed over the Virtual Visit airwaves, “Don’t be discouraged, this often happens, and if the nerve gets irritated, sometimes it has a hard time letting go,” I wondered at the choice of words he used. As I listened to his recommendation that a strong burst of a steroid pak be given for 6 days, I thought that wouldn’t be too bad. After all, I am well acquainted with steroids and still on a low dose of Prednisone.
But the dose pak was a different kind of steroid, and my hyper-sensitized body was not happy. As I lay in bed, barely able to move, with severe muscle pains and weakness again, I wondered how long these things would continue? I heard the Lord so close to me, but I wasn’t sure I wanted to stay in this place any longer.
Where was the value in living like this?
And my words fluttered around me like the sparrows falling in Jesus’ story. I was still clinging to my own vision of worth, wasn’t I?
As I lay awake with the pains flowing, I prayed for those who can never get out of bed. I prayed for those who don’t have the option of stopping a medication that wreaks havoc on their systems. I prayed for those alone on the streets, unsure of when or if the violence in their city would ever stop.
And when I woke in the morning, with the discouragement still lingering, I heard Him speak again, that He wanted me to write what I felt. The despair wasn’t lifting, even though my muscles were beginning to find a little strength again. The fog in my heart wasn’t clearing, even though I found the walker near-by and made my way to the little rooms of my house. HE was keeping me here, answering my questioning heart when the Doctor had spoken those words.
“That irritated nerve sometimes has a hard time letting go.” And my irritated sense of worth was having a hard time letting go too.
When we have faced an unknown future with Chronic Pain or Chronic Illness, we have been given an opportunity for insight that we might not have known if we had stayed on the fast-track of living.
Life is more than the doing.
And while that sounds so simple, and so “Well, of course!! I KNOW that!” Do we? Do we live as if that is true?
I believe very few of us actually live that way. There is only ONE who fully lives that way. The One who brought us breath in the first place. And He has been calling us to see the beauty of breathing in Him ever since He breathed that first moment of life into Adam’s lungs.
We will never see clearly the purposes of living and working and serving Him, until we first take a breath, and breathe in Holy Spirit life. Moment by moment, tasting our worth in the Breath of God.
He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.Ecclesiastes 3:11 NIV
In this place and time, I have only begun to see the fullness of His love, even though I have followed Him for so many years. And I know that I will not have plumbed the depth of that love, even when my last breath is finally given here.
But HE has known me and He has loved me before I was born. We are born again into that love when we accept His gift of forgiveness. And we will be born anew in that Kingdom when we see Him face to face.
This song has chased me down the years, over four decades, but my heart still trembles when He asks me to look more deeply into that love:
Will you pray with me here?
Dear Lord Jesus,
We are astonished at the way that You love. It is nothing like the way that we love. We are so used to loving for a reason, choosing something attractive, or fixing upon a purpose. But Lord, YOU have loved us with an everlasting love. Thank You for the grace that bubbles and breathes and flows through our history. We cannot comprehend it. But we long to join You in that loving. Help us to lift our hearts to You and to receive the gift of loving that You have already showered over us. Thank You that You count every breath so precious, so valuable in Your Kingdom. Open our eyes to see the way that You see. Open our hearts to love with the love that You have given.
In the Name of Jesus we pray,
The Lord appeared to us in the past, saying: “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.Jeremiah 31:3 NIV