Learning to breath like a Christian during a pandemic

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Photo by Vlad Bagacian on Pexels.com

Honestly I’m angry. It’s 10 pm and I just made myself shut off my phone.

What I read on Twitter tonight has me writhing in anger! I see people loosing their grip on their wealth and spinning the elderly and vulnerable as worthy martyrs on behalf of the American dream.

It makes me want to puke! Puking probably won’t help anything. But learning how to breathe like a Christian during this pandemic will.

Just today I was thinking about the tension between being joyful as a Christian and lamenting. Right now I mostly want to lament. I want to be angry at the injustice and evil I see. I want to weep over the anxieties I feel. But I also feel a sense of hope, anticipation and actual joy about the redemption Jesus is working through this dark time in history.

After scrolling through tweets tonight, finding myself scowling and scrunching my shoulders, holding my breath and slamming utensils in anger, I realized I needed to stop and breathe and cast my cares on the God who defends the widow and fatherless and redeems my life.

There’s a healthy pattern in the Psalms for a practice of living with the tension between joy and sorrow, anger and hope.

The Psalms are like breathing. Breathing like a sojourner in a foreign land. Breathing like a child of God.

We exhale, “How long?” And, “Why have you forgotten?” And, “Contend, O Lord!” and we cry.

He gathers our tears and bears us up continually (Psalm 68:19).

Then we inhale, “Trust in the Lord!” And, “You are my help and my deliverer!” Breathing in the hope of his promise.

He leads us on, in that “long obedience in the same direction” (Peterson), through the valley of the shadow of death (Psalm 23), all the way home.

There is much to lament. And there is also much good to anticipate. Our Redeemer lives! And while I weep and I cannot tritely say, “Look at how happy I am because I’m a Christian, even while the world burns.” I can, weathered and worn, laugh at the days to come.

I can breathe out my complaints to the One who takes vengeance, and I can inhale his unspeakable peace.

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