Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed. - 1 Peter 1:13
I cherish being able to breathe. You're saying, "Goofy statement. Everyone cherishes being able to breathe." Of course, there is that innate desire we have for life, and apparently none of us are able to skip the involuntary habit of breathing--at least, not without serious consequence. I can tell you from personal experience that lacking for air is not pleasant (Note the football player).
There was the time I was taking swimming lessons. I was eight years old and had just mastered the dog-paddle when our instructor lined us up along the pool. Being four feet tall in five feet of water, and only having just learned to dog-paddle is a recipe for disaster. So when the instructor asked me to turn loose of the edge and paddle, I think he meant toward the shallow end, not the deep. Three strokes and one large gulp of water, sent me straight to the bottom. Within seconds, the instructor had fished me out of the depths. I remember, outside of the obvious embarrassment, the feeling of that first gasp of air. I did learn to swim--even became a lifeguard, but I never forgot that feeling. I never forgot the fear.
Lately, I've had trouble breathing. The inhaler works temporarily, but it doesn't remove the invisible weight sitting on my chest shoving the air from my lungs. The doctor reminded me to remain self-controlled when asthma strikes. "Don't panic." That's easy for her to say. It's me turning blue around the lips; still she was right. Even when things look bleak, remain self-controlled and don't panic.
There are times in my Christian life when I lose the ability to think clearly and panic takes hold. I'm flailing around attempting to find my way. God tells me to stay in control. He wants me to take long slow breaths and trust Him to handle the situations that are pressing the air out of me. It's hard, and it's frightening. After all, it feels like you're going to die. Sometimes we fall apart, even when we know God has our backs. Self-control in my actions and thoughts --trusting the Father fully, helps me breathe through the hardships, teaches me to wait, and takes away the fear. He offers us His grace and His promise. Are you self-controlled enough to trust the Father fully or are you gasping for air?