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Gasping

Today’s Reflection

PLENTY OF MOMENTS in life leave us gasping for air. The gut punch of bad news, the crushing weight of tragedy or loss, the progression of illness, or the exasperation of unrelenting daily toil leave us breathless. Even a harsh word flung in our direction can feel like a direct blow, making it hard to breathe.

God knows that our moments spent gasping for air can be incapacitating and may leave us feeling faint. Our amazing Designer has anticipated such moments, program- ming into us a switch of sorts in the inspiratory center of our brains. Fainting flips the switch; without thinking, we breathe! God has thought of everything.

So when life lands a punch and it feels difficult to draw breath, God says, Breathe. Breathe deeply in me. It is as if God whispers, Let go and let me take you up that hill to the finish line.

—Wendy LeBolt
Made to Move: Knowing and Loving God Through Our Bodies

From page 46 of Made to Move: Knowing and Loving God Through Our Bodies by Wendy LeBolt. Copyright © 2019 by The Upper Room. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Upper Room Books. Learn more about or purchase this book.

Today’s Question

What leaves you breathless? Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

You have made my days a few handbreadths, and my lifetime is as nothing in your sight. Surely everyone stands as a mere breath.
—Psalm 39: 5, NRSV

Prayer for the Week

Thank you, Magnificent God, for the body that you created uniquely for me.

Submit your prayer to The Upper Room Living Prayer Center or share it in the comment section.

Did You Know?

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Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

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{ 13 comments… add one }

  • Rusty March 13, 2019, 5:07 am

    Interesting. Our reading uses “gasping” and the question asks about “breathless.” As I was reading today’s selection I was thinking, “Hmm . . . I don’t think I’m gasping for breath,” but when I saw the question, I realized – I am absolutely breathless. God leaves me breathless. I’ve had a setback this week with my dizziness and visual disturbances. On Monday, driving to work, I had an attack of dizziness and my ability to see was dramatically diminished. This was at 60 miles an hour, in traffic, on the highway. I didn’t crash, thanks be to God, but I could have.

    I’m now not driving at all. But the Lord has protected me, I know. There happens to be a city bus that can take me to my workplace 20 miles from my home. I started yesterday using the bus. My Lord provides. I am breathless.

    • Mary Ng Shwu Ling March 13, 2019, 6:19 am

      Thank God for watching over you, Rusty!

      May God keep us calm no matter what happens!

    • Mary Ng Shwu Ling March 13, 2019, 7:31 am

      May God bless you with a speedy recovery, Rusty!

      Thank God for giving you wisdom to take the public transport and providing a bus that goes all the way to your work place. How convenient that is! Praise God \o/

  • Lou March 13, 2019, 7:10 am

    I feel this for sure- the breathlessness I feel is a panic that arises when I feel overwhelmed by the demands and decisions before me-most of it right now is college decisions and planning for my last child to leave home this summer and all that that entails. Even planning for her graduation – a joyous event is marred with feelings of unease and distress as I try to make plans without any input or information from her father who never informs me of his separate if any plans until the moment before. There is no communication between us after 30 years of having a relationship – he has stopped providing financial support which concerns me as the great expense of college looms ahead. Many other daily decisions that cause me to loose sleep and cause me stress but the Lord keeps me going and I know he will continue to carry me. Some days my faith is small and if I but trust in him to guide me…all will be well.
    Prayers for All who come here today- for those traveling and those at home keeping things together. Prayers especially for Jill and her mother and family- she is a huge source of strength for them. Prayers for peace for her mother. Prayers for Robert who has also given up much to help his family- prayers that Annelise will understand and communicate better with you. Prayers that you soon will be able to get a new car – reliable transportation will be a relief.
    Prayers for Mary and her always positive and encouraging messages. Prayers for Julie – spring is almost here- a taste of it this week! Prayers for Marcy whom we always remember. Prayers for Rusty and his health issues and the gift of public transportation when you most need it.
    Prayers for Andrea and her husband and her travels may she be safe. Prayers for Betsey and her family and the blessings of new life. Prayers for Connie and the relief of the snow and ice melting – soon your forget me nots will be back. Prayers for all who come here today. May we all breathe in the goodness of the Lord today- and be at peace knowing that he will never leave us alone.

    • Mary Ng Shwu Ling March 13, 2019, 7:35 am

      Thanks Lou for all your prayers!

      May God lead and guide you in every decision you make and also may all your financial and other needs be met.

      Thank God for your strong example which is an inspiration to me and I am sure to your children and many others.

      Blessings!

  • Julie March 13, 2019, 8:13 am

    I immediately thought of when h said he wanted a divorce (Lou, I imagine you can relate). Though we have been estranged while in the same house I naively assumed this arrangement would continue. We lead entirely separate lives so it is already like we are divorced. I also understand the lack of financial support as Megan’s father went many years withouut paying his support.
    Prayers of gratitude that Rusty and all his fellow travelers remain safe. Prayers of gratitude that there is a bus available and may Rusty’s health improve.
    Prayers for Mary, may God keep her strong as she provides so muc for so many.
    Prayers for Lou, and I understand and have felt each of the emotions you described and have dealt with similar circumstances. My heart and prayers go out to and for you.
    Prayers for Robert, may he follow God’s plans as he prepares to move.
    Prayers for Connie, may spring soon bring new flowers to her garden.
    Prayers for Marcy, may her health be improving.
    Prayers for Jill and her family. May Gloria not be in pain and may the family continue to be with her.
    Prayers for Betsy, April, Andrea, and Edy and their families.
    Prayers and blessings and warm hugs for all of the UR family, even those who remain silent

    • Mary Ng Shwu Ling March 13, 2019, 2:56 pm

      Thanks for all your prayers, Julie!

      May God bless you and your family abundantly!

  • Connie March 13, 2019, 9:19 am

    “Breathe on me breath of God, fill me with life anew”
    Thankful for:
    Lou reminding me of my for-get-me-nots.
    Julie and her faithful prayers.
    Rusty ‘s safe return. Please Lord, heal his vision and return him to being able to drive without worry.
    Our Jill and her family.
    Be by our side Lord during our journey to the cross. Let us feel your presence. +
    + +

    • Rusty March 13, 2019, 1:47 pm

      Amen! Thanks to all who have expressed prayers and well wishes for me and ALL whom this amazing group supports in prayer. We are so blessed by this. Thank you.

  • Edy March 13, 2019, 6:45 pm

    Hi everyone, I’ve been trying to learn to meditate for about the last month or so. I bought Dana Trents book “One Breath at a Time” which was featured on UR. Breathing is very important. Deep breathing. In through the nose out through the mouth. Big “belly breaths”. I’ve also been listening to Encounteringpeace.com or .(org I’m not sure.)which is an awesome Christian meditation as is Dana’s book. I highly recommend it. “Spirit of the Living God fall afresh on me”. Please continue prayers for my son Bill. Surgery May 6th. Prayers for all, especially Rusty! What a scary ordeal. Hope you get answers soon.

  • robert moeller March 13, 2019, 7:53 pm

    There have been moments that have left me gasping. It wouldn’t be life if it were not so. Had a gun explode in my face on the firing range in basic training, found my wife passed away on the couch, had a heart attack, fell from a tree, walked up to the rim of the Grand Canyon are some that come to mind.

    Thankful to hear from Anneliese and believe we can work out a solution. Had a great day with Erich and hope for a good day tomorrow.

    Great news that Rusty is safe after his episode on the highway and that there is an alternate way for Rusty to go to work. I do wonder how you can work with your condition. Yes, God does provide help in amazing ways. Thank You, Lord.

    Thank you Mary for your prayer support to the UR family.

    Lou, your God guided effort is amazing. Very hard to understand the actions of the children’s father. Thank you for your prayers. There is progress with Anneliese.

    Prayers for you, Julie, your situation is very tenuous. Not having the support from Megan’s father is tough. A resolution to your situation is in my prayers.
    I add my AMEN to your prayers for the UR family.

    Prayers of support and well being for Connie. Your comments say so much in a creative way.

    Prayers for Edy as she learns to meditate and for her son, Bill’s upcomimg surgery.

    Marcy and Gloria are in my prayers as are those who help and support them.

  • Deborah Lesher March 15, 2019, 10:25 am

    The ocean

  • Deborah Lesher March 15, 2019, 10:25 am

    God’s love

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