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Exhale: Discovering God in Moments of Rest

Exhale: Discovering God in Moments of Rest

  1. The Exhale of RELIEF
    1. This exhale comes at the end of something— long day of work, perhaps at the end of a long hard season, maybe at the loss of something or someone— it’s the exhale that looks like this {example}. And it isn’t so much that you’re finding “relief” from pain or difficulty or stress, but you’re allowing yourself a moment to breathe, to feel, to not appear to have it all together, to acknowledge, if only to yourself, that you have limitations.
    2. The Promise:  The Lord is our REFUGE— 
      1. Psalm 46:1-3 “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains
        fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.
      2. Psalm 46:10 “Be still and know that I am God…”
    3. In some of our darkest moments, in some of the hardest moments we can encounter in our lives, when all we can do is to find a moment and exhale, God is there, and He is a safe place, and we can rest, we can be still, and know he won’t leave us.
  2. The Exhale of RECOVERY
    1. This exhale is comes in those “in-between moments” when you’ve finished one thing, and you’re preparing for the next. Think about someone who is just finished working out, maybe going for a run, physically exerted themselves, pushed themselves physically, their heart is beating fast— how do you recover from strenuous activity? First, you control your breathing, slow the heart rate, so that you can prepare for what’s next.
    2. The Promise: The Lord RESTORES us— Is 40:28-31 “Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
    3. Have you ever felt weary? Just empty? Like you’re running on fumes? Maybe you’ve been going, going, going— work, family, the holidays— one thing after another. And now that the holidays are over, it’s on to the next thing, and the next thing, and the next thing. Get here, go there, do this, do that.
  3. The Exhale of READINESS
    1. This is my favorite of the three. It’s the exhale that comes at a turning moment— the moment before we do something fantastic, something that maybe scares us a little bit, at the turning moment where we make a change, where we take a first step, when we move. It’s the psyche-up exhale, a focusing exhale— the exhale that says “let’s do this.”
    2. The Promise— The Lord RENEWS us— Is 43:18-19 “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.”
    3. Often when I read this passage, I think about the wilderness and the wasteland as a metaphor for life, or circumstances, that God will give direction, and make ways where there are none— and that is very true, but as I was preparing this message I felt like the Lord was speaking to me that I am the wilderness and the wasteland, and it’s in me that he wants to do something new. That it’s not about past accomplishments, past successes, it’s about today, it’s about tomorrow and the new place he wants to take me— the new place he wants to take you. God wants to renew your life— that is to say to do something new in your life— to make a way where there was none, to bring life where there was desolation, but we have to be ready. We have to be willing to go, to move— we are not meant to stay in the wasteland.

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