Snorkeling and I have a love-hate relationship. I love to snorkel, especially in Hawaii where the water resembles glass and the sea creatures are plentiful. However, I am terrible at it. Everything in me goes haywire when I strap the fins to my feet and a mask to my face. It is seriously a miracle I haven’t encountered a hungry shark who’s mistaken me as injured prey. I flop around like I’m a busted up dolphin while trying to make my fins work correctly. A couple years ago I kicked my feet incorrectly for so long it caused me shin splints. It’s ok to laugh, I’m laughing as I type. The fins are a nightmare for me, but the mask is the worst part. The problem is, I forget to breathe when I’m wearing the mask. I legit will hold my breath the whole time I snorkel. I realize the snorkel allows me to breathe, but the moment I put on the goggles, game over. I hold my breath.

So how in the world does being shark bait and scripture relate? Well, perhaps it isn’t a problem for you, but I often feel like I have my goggles on and am struggling to breathe through everyday life. Life often has a way of making me feel suffocated or knocking the air out of me. There are days when I really need some air to keep me going. Do you ever feel that way? Maybe you’ve found yourself in a financial bind, and it’s overwhelming. Or you’re a new member of the empty nesters club and you’re struggling to catch your breath. How in the world did this happen so fast? (And as I am a parent of a teenager now, I’d love your tips on how to slow down time.) Perhaps for you, it’s a diagnosis, and you’re struggling to get air. Maybe you are dealing with a rebellious child, and about the time you catch your breath, another blow hits you. For me, it seems I have so much going on day to day I forget to breathe. The mundane tends to be my mask.

Can I share with you a revelation I recently had? The goggles themselves cannot help you breathe. They are there to keep water out and are not designed to get air. For a snorkel set to work correctly, you must also attach the snorkel itself. This my friends is Holy Spirit, the Lord himself. Life will come at you because that’s what life tends to do, there is no way around it. But thankfully as followers of Jesus, we’ve been given the tool we need to keep breathing. We’ve been given the snorkel, even when we are surrounded on every side and it looks like we may drown; we can breathe. I believe this is no new news to most of us. We have Jesus, and we are aware of Him in our life, however, like me forgetting to breathe through the tool I am given, we forget to use the ONE we’ve been given. Just because Jesus resides in us doesn’t mean we are allowing Him to work through us.

I guess my question then is: what’s holding you back? What keeps you from letting God take control of your situation? We’ve been given the tool we need, why not use it? Holy Spirit is dwelling inside of you ready and willing to be whatever you need. You need peace, He’s peace. You need comfort, He’s comfort. Direction, He’s that too. So friends, if I may remind you, don’t forget to breathe.

“Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Don’t let your heart be troubled or fearful. You have heard me tell you, ‘I am going away and I am coming to you.’” John 14:27-28a


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