I'm desperate again

Back some time ago, Michael W. Smith put out a song simply entitled, "Breathe". It starts with three simple lines: "This is the air I breathe. This is the air I breathe. Your holy presence living in me." Stop to think on that a little and you will soon realize every breath you take is God's presence flowing into your life. His presence permeates us much as breath enters our lungs and is soon taken into the body to be used up time and time again. Have you ever thought of God as "giving you breathing room"? I never really thought of it this way, but our devotional times are kind of "breathing room" - times to take in his presence as we would breath. The time we take to settle ourselves long enough to reflect on God's word and then to begin to allow it to impact us is really readying us by providing us with some "breathing room" from the hub-bub of everyday life.

You've always given me breathing room, a place to get away from it all, a lifetime pass to your safe-house, an open invitation as your guest. You've always taken me seriously, God, made me welcome among those who know and love you. (Psalm 61:3-5)

For some time in my life, I looked as my devotional times as "required" - kind of a compulsory sort of thing if you were a Christian. It was taught to me as a "baby Christian" - take time each day to get "quiet" with God - hence "quiet time" was coined. In those moments, I was to pray, read the Word, and if possible, get something out of the time spent with God! Allegedly - as was reported to me as a new believer - we needed this time or we'd never grow in Christ. You know what I have come to discover? As important as this time is, breathing happens all the time! Now, don't get me wrong - we DO need this time. Yet, if it is time which we see as "required" or "compulsory", we seldom will enjoy it and experience it as God intends. It is like eating vegetables when all we want is a candy bar! We have to see the value in it before we actually begin to enjoy it! Now, come at this from a different perspective. If we approach this as our psalmist did all those years ago, maybe we will see devotion time a little differently.

He clearly saw it as a time to "escape" the rigors of daily life. A place to get away from it all. In fact, he refers to his time with God as a "safe-house" - a place of shelter and peace. I don't know about you, but with the way my days go sometime, I need a "safe-house"! What is the purpose of a "safe-house"? Doesn't it give the individual nestled inside just a little extra "breathing room" and a chance to "regroup" on life? If we began to see our devotionals as a time of "catching our breath" a little, I wonder what might come out of those times? The next three lines in the "Breathe" lyrics are: "This is my daily bread. This is my daily bread. Your very word spoken to me." This is what 'devotion' time is all about - God helping us to be well-nourished in him! It won't be a long blog today. I hoped to plant a seed thought about gaining a new perspective on your daily time with God. Let God give you some "breathing room" today. Look at what our psalmist says next: "You've always taken me seriously, God, made me welcome among those who know and love you." God is ready to give you more than just a little "breathing room" - he is ready to give you "breath" for the journey!

Time alone with him - maybe the words that catch my attention in the "Breathe" lyrics more than any other are the ones I often speak out to God in my time alone with him: "And I'm desperate for you and I'm lost without you." How about you? Are you desperate for God? Are you as lost as me without his presence in your life? If so, take some time alone with him today. What better way could you find to start a new year? Just askin!

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