Have you ever wanted to just quit on life? Those days that just keep having one wrong turn after another, bad news after bad news. Im sure at some point in your life you said or even shouted the words “I give up! I can’t do this! I quit!” I love how Eugene Peterson writes a very popular psalm in the message translation; Psalm 62:2 “He’s a solid rock under my feet, breathing room for my soul“. The backdrop to Psalm 62-63 is that David wanted to quit on life. He is on the run in the Judean wilderness, and in hiding. He is scared because many people are against him and want to kill him. While in hiding, (most scholars think a cave in a mountain side) David begins to write this powerful Psalm reminding himself who he puts his trust in during times of crisis and fear.
The question I asked myself after reading this verse was “When my soul doesn’t have breathing room, what do I do to get it back?” I know for us Christ followers reading this our immediate response wants to be “JESUS OF COURSE!” I know we mean and believe that. But lets get practical and real about that question. When work is overwhelming, when a massive decision needs to be made, or when the kids are out of control and you just cleaned the room they utterly destroyed and the dinner guests are almost over (shout out to parents the real MVPs), all that to say….have you ever felt like your soul has no air to breathe? Life has a way of, for lack of a better term — taking the air out of our souls and draining us, doesn’t it? And it can happen in a moments time.
I think for some of us the answer we don’t want to admit is our phone or social media. We go on twitter or Facebook for 10 minutes and try to clear our head, get lost in someone else’s world we wish we were living, and just maybe get away from the situation for a while. Maybe we go on a run and try and completely forget about that person or situation that is driving us crazy. If we want to be really transparent possibly a bottle or a pill. Now, obviously the first few things and we could list more, aren’t inherently wrong or desctructive. But if we are a little honest with ourselves, they are our go to, they are the “rock” that we run to when life is overwhelming. Absolutely, I believe in our heart of hearts we want to say Jesus is our rock that we run to. But in real practicality and “in the moment decisions”, maybe He isn’t our first option?
David was reminding himself and now us as the audience, that when life is too much to handle, when that person or that relationship takes the air from our soul, we have a rock and a fortress we can run to. For many of us our response would be, “well yeah, thats what my church is for every Sunday. I go to get my tank filled back up to endure the week ahead.” I completely understand and agree with that notion. But can we dig a little deeper?
My challenge to myself and you today is that Jesus can be the place where your soul can find breathing room everyday, whenever you need it, and you don’t need a 90 minute church service. That when you have one of those “I want to quit” days, you can take a deep breath in the core of your soul and breathe in the spirit of Jesus himself. It’s then, that He becomes a tower and refuge where your soul can have some breathing room. I know at times you can’t avoid that boss or that stressful moment at home and leave physically. But, I do believe you can get away spiritually. The absolutely amazing thing about Jesus is he doesn’t need hours, or the worship band playing in the background. He needs but a moment of space for you to welcome him. Try it! Watch your soul that is weary, stressed, and overwhelmed, become full of life and peace again.
So tomorrow when that moment in life comes, run to Jesus. Let him be your first option not last resort. When life tries to take the air from your soul, invite Him to come into that situation with you, and watch Jesus breathe life back in the sails of your soul.