Judy Luffman of Redmond, OR, USA
If we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord; so then whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s. -Romans 14:8
Several passages in scripture counsel us not to be afraid. But fear is a human emotion that can strike us unexpectedly or creep up on us slowly (like a pot of water gradually coming to boil) and overcome our sense of safety or well-being.
At the end of an international trip I took with my parents shortly before my mom died, we parted company in Amsterdam before boarding our return flights to different parts of the United States. I was a seasoned passenger, but on the first leg of the return trip home I became quite concerned and fearful due to rather extreme and sustained turbulence while passing over the north Atlantic. To make matters worse, I could see another aircraft which appeared to be close to the same altitude converging on our flight path. Suddenly fear had me in its grip!
I remember turning to prayer, not for safety or protection, but in thanksgiving for a husband who had unselfishly supported my desire to grant my mom’s wish to travel to Europe at least once during her lifetime, and for the experiences enjoyed during the journey with my aging parents. Long before the flight smoothed out a bit when we reached air space over land, the fear had left and was replaced with peaceful calm. For in recognizing these and other blessings, my mind wandered to the Apostle Paul’s words in Romans 14:8 that “if we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord; so then whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s.”
What have we to fear?
“… the breath of the Almighty gives me life” (Job 33:4).
Breathing God’s Compassion
Pay attention to your breathing and let it become calmer and deeper as you focus on God’s presence. Ask God to breathe in you. Imagine each breath carrying the light of God into your lungs, bloodstream, and every cell in your body until God’s Spirit fills you. Now imagine breathing out God’s compassion and grace each time you exhale, especially into places and situations in need of loving care. Give thanks to the Spirit, source of every breath, source of life.
Today’s Prayer for Peace
Engage in a daily practice of praying for peace in our world. Click here to read today’s prayer and be part of this practice of peace.