Hyperventilating is Not Breathing: Letting God be God

Walking up a steep hill was not the main reason why I was barely able to breathe and talk to my mom on the phone the other morning while I was walking up to school. I had just heard some exciting news from my publisher, and it was making my mind spin. Without going into specifics, it’s the kind of news that maybe isn’t Disney-movie-rights-big, but is very exciting nonetheless. Lots more people could hear about Sophie’s Quest and experience Jesus in a new way than I had ever dreamed possible.

What if?! And then, my mind started reeling: What if not just that situation works out, but some picture book irons in the fire, too? What if the librarian book review group is meeting this weekend at that big librarian conference? What if the reviewer really likes my novel and tells lots of librarians about it from all over the state? What if? What if?

Oh, dear, I’m making myself hyperventilate again.

After Jesus died and resurrected, he appeared to his disciples (who were clustered behind locked doors in fear) and John 20:22 says that he said, “”Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.’And with that he breathed on them and said, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit.'”

Likewise, the prophet Ezekiel, in the Old Testament, says of God that “I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. You will live in the land I gave your forefathers; you will be my people, and I will be your God” (Ezekiel 36:27-28).

Those of us (including you, dear reader!) who work in one way or another to spread the love of God, whether through our work or friendships or neighborliness will do well to remember what is our part and what is God’s part, right? I have to keep coming back to this theme in my own life–We are to do the work that God calls us to obediently and faithfully, and let him worry about the results or overarching plan. He is God, after all, and it is his land, his people, his world, his work.

All I need to do is breathe.

Breathe on my, Breath of God, Fill me with life anew, That I may love what thou dost love, And do what thou wouldst do.

Ewin Hatch, 1835-1889 (Breathe on Me, Breath of God, from the Covenant Hymnal, Covenant Press, 1983).

About Sonja Anderson

I write novels and picture books for children, and occasionally an article or short story for adults, too. I grew up in Ohio, and I have lived in Chicago, Connecticut, Boston, Tokyo, and Seattle. The beautiful Pacific Northwest inspires me every day.
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One Response to Hyperventilating is Not Breathing: Letting God be God

  1. Debbie Austin says:

    I can make myself hyperventilate over the negative what ifs, too. Your advice is a timely word for both. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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