It’s mold season. I’m allergic to mold, dust and other stuff as well as asthmatic. Breathing is something I am pretty consious of this time of year. So the book I am reading “Search and Rescue” by Neil Cole has a special attraction for me.
I love the word picture about accountability and that God intended for Bible reading and confession to be a lot like breathing. Confession is the breathing out part. It cleanses, allows space for fresh air and rids the lungs of toxins. Bible reading is the breathing in part. It makes sense and is a good analogy. But what caught my attention today, before reaching for my inhaler, is that breathing IN hurts.
Not the actual getting of oxygen into my lungs. The oxygen is good. But the problem is that the exhaling process isn’t working well. The toxins (stuff that bothers the air passages) isn’t getting out when I exhale (or cough – a lot) so when I try to breathe in – the passageways are already irritated. So it hurts.
When I read my Bible I have to do a couple of things.
1. Exhale (Pray and confess) – it is so important to prepare properly. It also reminds me who I am in relationship to God. I am prepared to accept the good God wants to refresh me with!
2. Be aware of the irritants that can come in with the oxygen. This is so key. Sometimes when I read about women in the Bible past negative experiences I have had can color the lesson. I get stuck on the woman caught in adultery and why didn’t Jesus demand to have the man brought forward. (I am convinced she was taken advantage of, you see…)
But when I settle myself beforehand I can let the irritant go. I realize that God is sovereign, that I don’t have to know everything, (maybe Jesus ran into him in the alley and had mercy on him too?) maybe… just maybe, when I look at myself, my sinful, prideful, irritating self…I see that I am that woman, that man, that crowd. In need of cleansing, in need of grace.