I learned a great spiritual lesson from my granddaughter when she was less than a day old!
During her first twenty-four hours, she developed a common condition called transient tachypnea; essentially, she was breathing too fast. Here’s a description of what causes this to happen.
While inside the mother, a developing baby does not use the lungs to breathe — all oxygen comes from the blood vessels of the placenta. During this time, the baby’s lungs are filled with fluid. As the baby’s due date nears, the lungs begin to absorb the fluid. Some fluid also may be squeezed out during birth as the baby passes through the birth canal. After delivery, as a newborn takes those first breaths, the lungs fill with air and more fluid is pushed out. Any remaining fluid is then coughed out or slowly absorbed through the bloodstream and lymphatic system. In babies with TTN, though, extra fluid stays in the lungs or is cleared out too slowly. This makes it harder for a baby to breathe in oxygen properly. As a result, the baby must breathe faster and harder to get enough oxygen into the lungs.1
The doctors and nurses took good care of our little one, reassuring mom and dad that this was relatively normal, and would subside as she adjusted to her new life outside the womb. They took some precautions, watching her carefully.
One of the side affects was her ability to eat, as it is hard to suck and swallow when you are struggling to breathe! They would not let her nurse while her breathing rate was up so high. They had two choices: they could feed her with a small tube through her nose or mouth, or get her breathing rate down so she could nurse. What they discovered was that if Little Miss was placed on her mama’s chest, skin to skin (literally as close as they could get), her breathing would slow down, and amazingly, she would breathe in time with her mama!
What a great picture of our spiritual life!
Before we come to Christ, we are from another world. We live and breathe the “fluid” of our fleshly life – our old nature. As we are born again into spiritual life, that old nature is pushed out, and replaced by the Spirit of life. God’s Spirit fills our spiritual lungs, and indwells us. We begin to live on the breath of God. But often, our old nature “hangs around,” taking its time to get out of our system! We struggle learning to breathe and live and walk this new Spirit-life.
How do we overcome our old nature? We get as close as we can to our heavenly parent – our Father. We lay aside anything that is a barrier between us – any sin, any unbelief, anything of our old life that we are holding onto – and rest in His embrace. We listen to His heart, and we submit ourselves to living and breathing in time to His Spirit – His ways. The closer we are to Him, the easier it is to be in step with His Spirit.
Interestingly, the more we are hindered by our old life, the less spiritual nourishment we are likely to take in! As long as we are “breathing” the fluid of our old life, the less we take in of the rich milk of God’s Word. But as we are in step with Him, we are able to learn and understand and grow from the spiritual food He provides!
How’s your spiritual breathing? Are you struggling? Do you feel overwhelmed, like you can’t get a good deep breath?
Stop trying to live this new life in your old ways. Give it up. Lay aside anything that hinders your relationship with God, and rest in Him – rest on Him. Listen to His heart, and breathe.
Genesis 2:7 – Then the Lord God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.
Job 33:4 – The Spirit of God has made me, And the breath of the Almighty gives me life.
Job 32:8 – But it is a spirit in man, And the breath of the Almighty gives them understanding.
Acts 17:24-25 – The God who made the world and all things in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands; nor is He served by human hands, as though He needed anything, since He Himself gives to all people life and breath and all things.
John 6:63 – It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life.
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