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A lot of people I love have been having a hard time lately. My great-Aunt Irma passed away recently. She was 92 and her twin sister, my Grandma Hagen, went home to heaven almost four years ago, but still…the world is a little different when someone who was always there when you were growing up isn’t anymore. My Uncle Al fell and fractured his skull the other week and now he’s in the ICU…pretty touch and go at the moment. The future is decidedly uncertain there. My father just had surgery on his rotator cuff, and that along with his arthritis is really paining him…plus my mom has to deal with all of the above. Throw in my dad’s sister Carol and her husband had to evacuate from their home in Arizona because of a major fire that’s burning down their neck of the woods. And last week was heck on roller skates for me. We had Family Bible Week, which is great fun but it’s also a heavy load of teaching for me (2 hrs of Bible class 4 days straight), plus we had a funeral on Saturday, and of course the Sunday service always goes on. (It’s not about me.)  Along with a bunch of other things going on for me and those I love, it’s been a little harder lately. Frankly, I shouldn’t complain, because plenty of people in this world have it a lot worse than me. They have to deal with more trouble and sorrow on slimmer resources, so I shouldn’t beef. I haven’t had it all that bad.

This song came across my Pandora the other day. I was listening as I was working on my laptop the other day, and I just stopped and sat and listened. It’s a simple song but it touched me. I found out it was used on an episode of Grey’s Anatomy, but I still like it. Truly, all we can do is keep breathing — and even that is a gift of our gracious God. His promises are more precious than life. We Christians know that even when we cease to breathe, even when we can’t keep breathing, He is our God and He will never abandon us.

As you’re waiting for the video to load, I appended something far more precious and meaningful below it — some encouragement of the Scriptures. If you’ve been going through some hard times lately, read the Scriptures below and ponder them. They’ll do you a world of good. For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. (rom 15.4)

But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. 8 What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith. 10 I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead. 12 Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13 Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. (phil 3.7-14 niv)

I remember my affliction and my wandering,
the bitterness and the gall.
20 I well remember them,
and my soul is downcast within me.
21 Yet this I call to mind
and therefore I have hope:

22 Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
23 They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
24 I say to myself, “The LORD is my portion;
therefore I will wait for him.”

25 The LORD is good to those whose hope is in him,
to the one who seeks him;
26 it is good to wait quietly
for the salvation of the LORD.
27 It is good for a man to bear the yoke
while he is young.

28 Let him sit alone in silence,
for the LORD has laid it on him.
29 Let him bury his face in the dust—
there may yet be hope.
30 Let him offer his cheek to one who would strike him,
and let him be filled with disgrace.

31 For men are not cast off
by the Lord forever.
32 Though he brings grief, he will show compassion,
so great is his unfailing love.
33 For he does not willingly bring affliction
or grief to the children of men. (lam 3.19-33)

My God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus. (phil 4.19)

The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. (rom 16.20)

I am still confident of this:
I will see the goodness of the LORD
in the land of the living.
14 Wait for the LORD;
be strong and take heart
and wait for the LORD. (psalm 27.13-14)

May the LORD answer you when you are in distress;
may the name of the God of Jacob protect you.
2 May he send you help from the sanctuary
and grant you support from Zion.
3 May he remember all your sacrifices
and accept your burnt offerings.

4 May he give you the desire of your heart
and make all your plans succeed.
5 We will shout for joy when you are victorious
and will lift up our banners in the name of our God.
May the LORD grant all your requests.

6 Now I know that the LORD saves his anointed;
he answers him from his holy heaven
with the saving power of his right hand.
7 Some trust in chariots and some in horses,
but we trust in the name of the LORD our God.
8 They are brought to their knees and fall,
but we rise up and stand firm.

9 O LORD, save the king!
Answer us when we call! (psalm 20)

Shake off your dust;
rise up, sit enthroned, O Jerusalem.
Free yourself from the chains on your neck,
O captive Daughter of Zion. (isa 52.2)

Keep Breathing

Written by Ingrid Michaelson

The storm is coming but I don’t mind
People are dying, I close my blinds

All that I know is I’m breathing now

I want to change the world
Instead I sleep
I want to believe in more than you and me

But all that I know is I’m breathing
All I can do is keep breathing
All we can do is keep breathing now

All that I know is I’m breathing
All I can do is keep breathing
All we can do is keep breathing

All we can do is keep breathing
All we can do is keep breathing
All we can do is keep breathing
All we can do is keep breathing
All we can do is keep breathing now