Breathe IN grace, breathe OUT love.
He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. -Psalm 46:10-11
Breathing is not something we normally think about. It’s an involuntary reflex which can tell us a lot about our emotions, stress, and feelings. When we are anxious or worried, we tend to breathe shallow and feel as though we can’t catch our breath. When we are relaxed, we breathe deeply and allow our bodies to take in fully the necessary oxygen that keeps us alive.
Psalm 46 speaks of trouble… earthquakes which throw the mountains into the sea, war raging all around, and in the midst of trouble, we are reminded that God is our refuge and strength. That is why God reminds the people to “be still, and know that I am God.” When insurmountable problems arise, we have a God who provides and protects.
This week, our Lenten Prayer exercise is about meditation, stretching, and breathing. Margie Callahan is leading us through some simple stretches and breathing exercises online. Meditation is an ancient Christian practice which helps us to focus our minds on God and not on the problems in our lives. The “breath prayer” which is often helpful to me is very simple. I breathe IN grace. And then breathe OUT love. The purpose is to be reminded with every single breath that I am loved by God and given the gift of this new day. I will then breathe OUT love to other people. Because I know that I am loved and that I am forgiven, I can then extend love and grace, peace and forgiveness to others.
Holy and gracious God, your blessings are abundant, your love is never-ending. Give us a full measure of your grace and love. Help us to breathe in grace and breathe out love to others. May we extend the forgiveness we have received to those we encounter. Amen.