I failed my test. My breathing test, that is.
I knew failing the test was inevitable ~ for the past few years I've really struggled with my breathing. I find myself wheezing and coughing all night long. I can't walk my dog around the block without losing my breath. When I speak at events, I have to keep an emergency inhaler tucked in the podium. My kids ask if I have an inhaler before we play outside. I've given up running. My breathing struggles have limited and restricted my everyday life.
When I went to the doctor, he told me it was asthma. Asthma?? I'm in my late 30's. How in the world did I develop asthma? The doctor gave me specific prescriptions and instructions to manage my asthma ~ take Claritin every morning, use a Flovent inhaler every day, and only use my rescue inhaler in case of emergency.
What did I do? I used the Flovent inhaler...a couple of times. I took the Claritin...for about 3 days. And then the Flovent and the Claritin sat on the shelf. I relied on my rescue inhaler too often. I missed out on fun opportunities and adventures. I accepted my new restricted lifestyle and thought I'd be stuck this way forever.
When the day came last month to take a new breathing test, I knew the results would not be good. The doctor asked if I was following his specific instructions. Was I using the Flovent? No. Claritin? Not really. The prescriptions were filled and ready to go, but they were both sitting on the shelf unused.
I came home with a resolve this time to do what the doctor had told me to do. I put a chart by my bathroom sink. I used the Flovent. Check. I took the Claritin. Check. Soon my chart was filled with check marks ~ and low and behold, I could run! I could play! I could breathe!
As I've been reflecting on my breathing journey, I've thought about other areas in my life where I leave things "sitting on the shelf". I wonder why I struggle with defeated thinking, or with fear, or feeling not good enough ~ but upon closer inspection...realize I've not followed God's specific instructions. Truth is left sitting on the shelf.
Scripture is clear we have been given everything we need to live the full life in Christ. Everything we need. But we need to do our part too. Having the prescriptions filled isn't the same as taking the prescribed dose each day. I must faithfully put into practice the specific instructions given to us through the Word. I must spend time in God's presence. I must refuse to accept a life filled with fear or defeated thinking or guilt. I must be intentional about the renewing of my mind. It's not enough for me to have a verse written on an index card ~ I must put Truth into practice!
How about for you? Are you experiencing all that God has for you?
Or are you allowing worry or unforgiveness to steal your joy?
Are you allowing fear to rob you of peace?
Are the lies of the enemy ("you're not good enough, or thin enough, or _______ enough") limiting or restricting your everyday life??
May I encourage you to put Truth into practice! Please don't leave His Words to you sitting on the shelf. Spend time daily allowing His Words of hope to bring healing to your current condition. And before you know it...you'll be running and playing and breathing like never before!! :)
Let's pray...O Lord, thank You for Truth and for Hope and for Freedom in You! Thank You for Your Words that are Powerful and Life Giving! Forgive us for accepting defeated living. Empower us to walk daily in the Fullness of Life in You! For Your Purpose! For Your Glory alone! In Jesus Name! Amen :)