Breathe Deep

You’ve been there. You’ve done something strenuous, and you’re out of breath. Maybe you’ve been running on the treadmill, or climbing the stairs, or maybe just going to the fridge during a commercial break. You’re winded; you need air.

For me, it especially happens when I do this one particular exercise at the gym. And as I reach the end my muscles are burning, my lungs are gasping – and I need oxygen. And I want it quick. And I want it NOW. So I start sucking wind. At that moment, all I want to do is to gulp down some oxygen.

And it strikes me. The same is true in my spiritual life. At the hardest moments – when I am tired, weary, or simply in need of a reminder of who I am – what I need most is to gulp down grace. Suck it in as fast as I can. In fact, I need grace as much (or more!) than I need air; which is to say: I need it all the time. I never stop breathing; it’s just that sometimes I have to breathe harder. I never stop needing grace; it’s just that sometimes I have to rely on it more deeply.

I have discovered that the Unstoppable Love of God  (read: Grace) is the very foundation of my existence. The core of what I need. The air my spirit breathes. I can’t go a minute without breathing air, and I can’t go a minute without breathing in the grace God has given to us through Jesus Christ.

As I blog, I hope you’ll be encouraged, challenged, and driven to think more about how this Grace intersects with our lives – mine and yours – in the variety of ways we live out our lives. For Grace, if it is to be real, must be real in the everyday. On days when the breathing is easy. And on days when the breathing is hard.

So, breathe deeply, my friends.


I’m Jeff Dye. After 16 years on staff at a healthy, outreach-minded church, I currently have a ministry called The Paraklesis Project. In the New Testament, “paraklesis” means encouragement — which is what I seek to bring to churches of all sizes through speaking and consulting.