“Prophesy to the breath; prophesy, son of man, and say to it, ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe into these slain, that they may live.'” (Ezekiel 37:9, NIV)
I was born with a bottle of decongesting nasal spray in my hand. I can’t remember a day when I didn’t have a bottle of that poison, and I was taught to use its spray three times a day. Since, as I would quickly learn, I couldn’t breathe without it, I did as I was told!
I had no idea at the time that most of my mother’s side of the family had deviated nasal septums. This label sure sounds alien, don’t you think? All it means to me is that one side of my nose is large enough to host a party, while the other side is rather insignificant; and when my nose switches over to this little side, I can’t breathe! Nasal decongesting spray to the rescue!
The first time I became aware that this was perhaps a serious problem was the day I visited my uncle, my mother’s brother, in the hospital. I was around 12 years old at the time, and it didn’t make sense when he told me that he had to have his nose broken by doctors so that it would be straight. To me, his nose always seemed straight. What was he talking about?
Eventually as I got older, I became aware that these little bottles of decongesting nasal spray were far from being my friends. I tried to wean myself off them, but without success. One time I managed to stay off of them for a few years; but nighttime was brutal. When it was the turn of the small side of my nose to take the primary burden of breathing, it couldn’t stand up to the task and it collapsed instead!
The day I had my panic attack, I decided that it was time to put these bottles of decongestant nasal sprays to rest for good. I couldn’t sleep anyway, so why not make myself totally miserable? My tactic, however, was quite different than what I had tried before. Instead of relying on my own efforts, I prayed for wisdom, depending solely on God.
A few days later I discovered the existence of nose cones. One of these in my dwarf nostril at night would allow me, for the first time in my life, to breathe without nasal spray from the small side of my nose. I became a new man. One who, I am proud to say, is completely free of these annoying little bottles that used to hold me captive.
Looking back, although I sure didn’t relish that panic attack that evening, I thank God for letting me go through it. Not only did God free me from my addiction since birth; not only did He teach me how to breathe; He also taught me how to walk closer to Him than ever before.
You may be going through some dark times. Look beyond the darkness and see God’s light shining brightly towards you. He will lead you to freedom and a peace out of this world. Truly, Paul was so correct when he wrote: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28, NIV)
Learn to breathe from the Lord. Refreshing air from God’s Holy Spirit will fill you completely! We were not born for addictions, but rather, to experience God fully in our everyday walk with Him. Enjoy this Fresh air from our Father. “Go out into the world uncorrupted, a breath of fresh air in this squalid and polluted society. Provide people with a glimpse of good living and of the living God. Carry the light-giving Message into the night.” (Philippians 2:15, MSG)
You, too, can be free!
(To access the entire, “Flying Like an Eagle” devotional series, please click here.)