Sunday, July 7, 2013
BREATHE, BREATHE, BREATHE
Dear friends, I have fallen in love… with Ultra Sounds. I have had four, for four different reasons and everytime I come away awed to the bone about how fabulous our Creator created us. He is truly amazing and worthy of our worship if only for the delicate work He did on us. We are truly, wonderfully and beautifully made.
I had one ultra sound last week, and once more I was struck with awe at how amazing our bodies are. The ultra sound I had confirmed again that we can never know too much about how our bodies work and how much we are greatly blessed to be able to see it working. We were looking at the veins in my legs to see if there was evidence of damage or left-over blood clots from a pulmonary embolism episode that I had in 1984. We went looking because I have been having trouble using my legs and this was one thing we wanted to check out.
Once again I was seeing and hearing the flow of blood through my body. Trust me that this is a very exciting thing to do. And many things can be discovered while doing it. Not only is God’s intimate design for us revealed, but the very rush of the blood is celebratory of the Creator Himself.
I have had these tests taken for both my arteries and veins now. My arteries passed with flying colors. They got the highest score possible. But, sure enough, my veins had a problem. She found damage from the episode in 1984 and even the presence of a clot that never dissolved. I was stunned. But it was an eye opener about two mysteries in my life: Why the clots had been in my lungs at all and why my right foot is fatter than my left foot.
Funny thing is that while I was in the hospital for the embolisms, no one even mentioned my legs or took any pictures of them. They just gave me blood thinner and kept an eye on my lungs. Hmmm…. Sometimes you just don’t know what your doctors are not doing that they should be doing. But I recovered and have done fine until now.
But here is the fun part of this whole thing. The tech showed me that there are ways TO encourage blood flow through the veins back up to the heart. If she pressed on my leg, I could see and hear a Swoosh response from the veins when the pressure was released. Then she had me take deep breaths. Again, a Swoosh, as the act of deep breathing pulled the blood up to my heart. Wow! Who knew that deep breathing was not just for heart and lungs, it is for “pulling” blood through the veins in a smooth and timely way. That was stunning for me to find out.
Then she had me do my favorite stretching exercise (Push my heels toward the wall) and Swoosh, there the blood went again, rushing up to my heart. Ah ha, the pressure/release is the reason why we have to have the leg huggers on our legs when we wake up from an operation. And the deep breathing explains why we need to use a breather thingy (actual clinical term) to take deep breaths if we have had an operation and are in bed for awhile. Imagine that. There really is purpose behind those things we are asked to endure.
I am particularly fascinated with the deep breathing. How easy is it (for those who can) to take deep breaths as part of a healthy living plan? God breathed life into us. All we have to do to celebrate the life He gave us is to keep breathing, intentionally, for good health. Athletes do it. Singers and dancers do it. But we can’t all do the body movements that they do. Even if we can’t, we can do something. We can breath deeply just because we think to do it. We can stretch our arms up, while breathing deeply and Swoosh the blood back to our lungs for the next round. We can, when sitting or lying down, point our heels across the room stretching our calves and Swoosh the blood up our legs, back to our lungs for another round. And, hey, we can exercise our feet while we have that position. Then, we can get up and walk as well as we can, if even for only a few feet. No more excuses. We can do something to help our bodies work better.
But, again, the breathing… Yes, the breathing. How does that relate to our spiritual life? Genesis 2:7: the Lord God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being. God breathed life into us in the beginning and we need to keep breathing in that life.
Consider the song, “This is the Air I Breathe.”* It plainly presents the truth that eating and drinking God’s Word is not quite enough. We must also breathe it in, deep breathing on a daily basis as we follow the paths we are on.
May we all be breathing deeply from the source of our lives and may we worship Him with every breath we take in and every breath we exhale.
P.S. For those have trouble falling to sleep, try taking at least ten slow, deep, deep breaths in two rounds before rolling over to go to sleep. Then let me know if you made it to ten. : ) Seriously. It worked for me. And may you sleep better filled with the very breath God gave us.