“Encouragement is oxygen to the soul.”

George Matthew Adams

Breath of Life

Air is essential for life, so taking a next breath is required. For those who suffer mentally and emotionally, there are times that this feels hard to do and it has nothing to do with physically taking a breath. There are times when emotionally it seems very difficult to breathe. The experience is much like what happens when a car goes off the road into a body of water. The car begins to fill with water and you struggle to reach the air pocket at the top. For the sufferer, it feels like the amount of air available fluctuates from day to day. The desperation to gasp air is always there. The good days are when you are able to find the air pocket and take in a big gulp of air. The bad days are when the car shifts and the air pocket disappears, causing the feeling and sensation of drowning.

As with the person in the submerged car, the sufferer’s help has to come from an outside source. The one who is trapped underwater is at the mercy of someone above water diving in and coming to their rescue and sharing his oxygen mask with them. This is a very good picture of how the struggler in pain needs someone who is compassionate enough to “dive” into their lives and bring relief and intervention in the suffocating moments they experience. They need a life-saver!

“Deliver me from the mire, and do not let me sink; may I be delivered from my foes, and from the deep waters. May the flood of water not overflow me, and may the deep not swallow me up, and may the pit not shut its mouth on me.” Psalm 69:14-15(NAS)

© 2012, Barbara Billingsley. All Rights Reserved.


If a car in front of us veered off the road into a river, and we could see through the windows to the inside of that car and saw it filling up with water, we would feel compelled to take some sort of action to prevent the driver or passengers from drowning. Yet, we pass people every day who are drowning mentally and emotionally and we try not to notice their pain. We somehow feel that if we do not acknowledge their needs, we are not responsible to respond. Yet, we would readily agree that, as Christ followers, Jesus is our ultimate example and guide for daily living. Jesus healed a woman who desperately touched the hem of His robe in the midst of a huge crowd while He was on the way to “do ministry” and raise a young girl from the dead. In Matthew 9:22, we are told that Jesus turned and saw her and told her that her faith had made her whole. Jesus knew His purpose. He was on a mission to show the world that He was sent by the Father but He stopped and took the time to see her.

Will we stop and see those who are drowning emotionally, mentally and spiritually all around us? Will we reach out with the love of Christ to pull them up before they drown in the swirling floods of dark and overwhelming circumstances? Will we stay with them until they are brought safely to the shore of God’s love, mercy and grace?

“Then the King will say, ‘I’m telling you the solemn truth: Whenever you did one of these things to someone overlooked or ignored, that was me—you did it to me.’ ” Matthew 25:40(MSG)

If Jesus were drowning, wouldn’t you stop to rescue Him?! Who needs your help today?
Prayer for the hurting person:
Lord, help this person that You cherish to feel Your presence and Your compassion. Help them to know that You love them so much that You gave Your only Son to die in their place. Give them hope today Father. Show them that You see their needs, You know their pain, You weep with them and You will not leave them alone…You are sending help their way. Help them to hold on until help arrives. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Prayer for the helper:
Lord, help me to live out Psalm 46:10 and “be still and know that You are God.” Help me to spend so much time with You that I recognize Your voice and I respond promptly to Your leading. Show me what a privilege it is to be used by You. Help me to see others with Your mercy and Your unfailing compassion. Help me to overflow with the pure love that comes from above with no strings attached. Help me to recognize each opportunity as a gift from you. Help me to build margin into my life so that I am sensitive to Your Spirit. Please use me today Lord. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

© 2013, Charlotte Miller. All Rights Reserved.

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