Nothing’s scarier in an asthmatic attack than the battle for breath. Tightness settles in as a distressing squatter. Your chest feels like a ton of bricks have been dropped on it, ushering in claustrophobic panic. Breathing labors as a day’s work. Almost impossible to think about anything else.
My asthma punches in during physical exertion in cold temperatures. In the winter, when sometimes we’ve gone to a resort in the Washington Cascade mountains, my asthma spray is nearby, especially as the grandsons love Silly Papa to literally throw them down snow covered hills on their ‘Red Racer’ and ‘Yellow Lightning’ sleds. Outside it’s less than 20 degrees. Nevertheless, Papa has to do his part… without excuse!
In Exodus 6, the Lord reassures Moses that He will liberate His own out of slavery in Egypt. God hears their cries. Help is on the way. Reading verses 2-8 we hear God promising that ‘I will’ do this and ‘I will’ do that. Pledges He makes and keeps. What’s interesting is that in the original Hebrew language, these seven ‘I will’ assurances are all in the past tense. As if God’s promises have already happened.
But there’s a problem. Exodus 6: 9–‘Moses spoke thus to the people of Israel, but they did not listen to Moses, because of their broken spirit and harsh slavery.’ In Hebrew ‘broken spirit’ means ‘shortness of breath’. God’s people asthmatically struggle to believe Him. Doubts slither and slink toward them like a boa constrictor drawing its victim ever tighter, crushing out breath, cutting them off…from trusting Him.
I’m wondering if there’s someone you know who seems a bit ‘asthmatic’ in their walk with the Lord, finding it hard to trust Him, constricting their faith, gazing backward too often. If so, maybe you can be like that medicinal mist that opens up breathing. Praying for them. Sitting with them. Listening and encouraging, giving them space to breathe.
Or maybe it’s you who needs God the Holy Spirit’s help. ‘Spirit’ in Hebrew is the word ‘breath’. God sprays free breathing where most needed, allowing us to trust the Lord once again.
I know it’s not easy. But start to breathe in. Now deeper. And then more…and more. Ah!
Lord Jesus, let me help someone else. Amen.