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Today’s Truth

In His hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind (Job 12:10 NIV).

Friend to Friend

If you’ve ever experienced getting the breath knocked out of you, then you never forget the feeling. Mine was in the second grade. I tapped on the shoulder of the boy in front of me to let him know the bus line was moving. Only he didn’t care. When panic seized, and I thought we would be left behind, I tapped on his shoulder once more. He chose that moment to turn around and punch me in the gut. The wind left my lungs, and I fell to the floor, unable to make even a whisper. Needless to say, I missed the bus, and he spent lunch and recess with the principal for the week.

The next time I got the wind knocked out of me wasn’t due to a physical blow but because of emotional force. The doctor stole my breath when she issued my daughter’s terminal diagnosis. Perhaps you’ve been there.

Life can hit you hard. So hard the breath you often take for granted is suddenly gone, and you’re left gasping. This feeling reminds me of a Bible story about a man we know as Job.

His life started great, in fact, the greatest!

“In the land of Uz there lived a man whose name was Job. This man was blameless and upright; he feared God and shunned evil. He had seven sons and three daughters, and he owned seven thousand sheep, three thousand camels, five hundred yoke of oxen and five hundred donkeys, and had a large number of servants. He was the greatest man among all the people of the East” (Job 1:1-3 NIV).

Can you get any better than “the greatest?” But this God-fearing man was hated by Satan for his righteous ways, and with the Lord’s hedge of protection removed, Job lost everyone in his life and everything he owned. All in a single day. Job must have felt gut-punched, wordless, and, yes, breathless. Why did this happen? It seemed that God allowed the enemy to suck the life right out of Job.

Job certainly felt the effects of Satan’s blow, but he ultimately chose to align his heart with the truth. Could he dare to think that his knowledge surpassed that of his Creator? So he stopped asking God why and instead surrendered to the One who breathed life into his soul. Every breath is a gift from the Father. As long as oxygen filled his lungs, life had purpose and meaning. He could trust the One who inhaled for him, exhaled over him, and breathed through him.

And so can we.

I love what Job said about his trials at the end. “My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you” (Job 42:5 NIV).  What a gift.

Let’s Pray

Jesus, today appears gigantic, and my heart is suffocating with the weight of the world. Right now, I can’t think past the hour, much less the entire day. This moment alone threatens to smother, and I need Your love to fill me. As life transcends from You, may my every breath rely on Your holy power to inhale for me, to exhale over me, and to breathe through me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Now It’s Your Turn 

When have you felt that you needed God to breathe for you? Share in the comments!

More from the Girlfriends

If you could use more prayers to help you breathe a little easier, you’ll enjoy  Rachel’s Beautiful 31 Days of Prayers for the Heart prayer cards. “These cards are spot on when I can’t find the words.”– Savannah

© 2022 by Rachel Wojo. All rights reserved.

26 Responses to “When You’ve Had the Breath Knocked Out of You”

  1. Diann says:

    After two pretty crappy years of family issues, covid lockdowns and my father passing away. I had high hopes for 2022 but I just got a breast cancer diagnosis. Talk about getting the wind knocked out of you. I know God has a plan but I am still very scared. Lord, keep me in your hands as well as all those out there who’ve “gotten the wind” knocked out of them in some fashion. Amen.

    • Rachel Wojo says:

      Oh Diann! Your situation reminds me of the teaching podcast I released yesterday about how the children of Israel, after 40 years of wandering the wilderness, stood on the edge of the promised land, only to find giants in the land. I have three dear friends in situations similar to yours that I’m praying for right now. God, be with Diann today and hover near her heart. Give her tangible evidence of your work in her life, whether through another person, Your word or whatever avenue you should choose. She needs you. We all do. Shower her with peace incomprehensible today especially, I pray.

  2. Stephanie says:

    My breath was knocked out of me on Monday March 14, 2022 when I received word that my mother had passed away, Totally gutted

  3. Stephanie says:

    My breath was knocked out of me after losing our custody battle for our foster daughter we had for a year and a 1/2 since she was 6weeks old. We didn’t even lose her to her biological mother as she wanted us to adopt her. We lost her because of the system.

  4. Carol says:

    May2012—Jan. 2013surgery and radiation for my husband.
    I was sacred to death. We had a family run business and all of that responsibility felt like a cement and steel building was hanging on my shoulders. I was trying to do everything on my own (I understood, some of the tragedy Job experienced).
    As I was trying to remain calm, praying and sitting in the radiation clinic,when an elderly gentleman came in very early that morning,and asked me, if I was waiting for a loved one. I told him yes. He handed me an information sheet about natural diet facts, regarding my husband’s condition. He told me how wonderful the clinic was, wished us well and left.
    I asked the receptionist if she knew him, she said she wasn’t even aware someone else was there. I commented about how early, and cold and snowy it was for someone his age to be out that morning.
    We went to the radiation clinic for 35 treatments,every day, during a very bad winter. I looked for this gentleman, every morning. I never saw him again.
    I’m telling this experience only to show that God sent me, what I refer to, as “our angel man”. God knew I needed some guidance. He knew my attention was focused on the wrong things, when I should have been giving Him my burdens, to handle. Jesus was only standing above me, waiting for me to just let the worry go, and hand it over to Him!
    I now, carry a promise card with 2 Corin. 12:9, printed “My grace is sufficient for you. My power is made perfect in weakness”. Praise God for His Grace and Mercy!

  5. Cynthia Neville says:

    Jan. 5, 2011
    The day my husband passed away. My husband was in a hospital in Pittsburgh Pa.for 4 weeks. He had covid, with other health complications. He was in the step down
    IUC for two weeks. He was then moved to the ICU, and was intubated early morning the next day. When they told me that he probably was going to die, that is exactly what I was told. That knocked the breath out of me. I held on to God, I believed that God was going to heal him to the very day that he passed. God did heal him. But, He took him home to be with Him to do it. My heart is broken, my life is changed. I hold on to knowing that I will see him again one day. Only
    God can get me through this. God is the one that helps, gives us strength to face each new day.

  6. Vickie says:

    God needed to, and did indeed breathe for me during my husband’s illness and death. It came about so quickly and intensely, that I don’t remember taking a breath for over a month!

  7. Vickie says:

    God has breathed for me many times through the illness and death of family members.

  8. Yvonne says:

    As we prepare for our dear one to be with the Lord your devotional was so timely. His death was sudden. Thankyou for listening to the Holly Spirit through all your writings.

  9. Pamela says:

    When the Dr told me that my 19 yr old daughter was brain dead (after an horrific car accident) to say the breath was knocked out of me would be an understatement. Part of me died at that moment, it certainly felt that way. There was no hope and the respirator was turned off. I prayed and prayed for God to reach out and keep her breathing. But that didn’t happen. I wish I could say I praised God’s name, but I didn’t. I was very angry with God and for a long time I was bitter and faithless and even developed a drinking problem.
    That was 19 years ago. I am no longer bitter and angry with God. He was there for me the whole time, he never left me. Today I praise his name, I haven’t touched alcohol in over 3 yrs, but I am ashamed that I was weak and fell for Satan’s lies.
    I’m sure my daughter is with Jesus, but I still hurt and miss her so very much.

  10. Diana says:

    The wind was knocked out of me when my granddaughter told me my husband, her Grandpa was molesting her! Really too much to share how all of our lives were changed. So many ramifications. My husband of 43 years at that time was a God fearing man and truly a servant of the Lord. He had prostate cancer surgery which left him incontinent and impotent. Absolutely no excuse! But Satan tempted him in the area of his struggle and he gave into that temptation and is now paying the consequences. He is serving a ten years to life sentence in prison. But God definitely breathed for me and through me and continues to do so since this is really a never ending battle. I truly would not have survived this without the Grace and love of God.

  11. Lillian says:

    The day before st pats day one year ago I found my son dead in his bed I went to wake him and he had blood coming out of his mouth and not breathing. I called the ambulance and when they got here he was gone .
    The death certificate said it was from diabetes he was only 52yrs old . It took me along while before I could go into his room again death has a certain smell . I’ve keep the window open ever since .
    About a month later he came to me to say I’m fine as he stood over my bed The one thing I know for sure is he is with his father whom passed 11yrs ago yes I’ve had the wind knocked out of me but God was with me and made me strong.

  12. KC says:

    In 2017 I had a house fire. Most of our things were destroyed by the fire or smoke. All I kept saying was this was a brand new house. How did this happen? I did not know what I was going to do. I kept repeating myself over and over. How and pretty much why. I had a friend who rushed to my side when he heard it was my house that caught on fire. He looked at me and he said, “let’s pray” I honestly did not want to at that time. I had just lost everything I worked hard for and it was gone in seconds. He grabbed my hand and everyone formed a circle and we prayed. I can tell you that God opened doors and showed me and everyone who did not believe that he is the one and only true God. I had people who were not for me turn and ask if I needed anything to let them know. I knew that was God. He will use your enemies to push you forward. My house was rebuilt, and I have been blessed with more than what I had started with.

  13. Carol Slabinski says:

    Rachel, my comments have everything to do with breath and breathing. You see, my sister came down with lung cancer in 1999, a very virulent and classic form. She had never smoked but had been a waitress for many years (before going into banking) and that was before they had the no-smoking laws in restaurants. So every time she was taking orders with smokers, she was essentially smoking with them. Or, she got it from exposure to asbestos, they told her at the Cleveland Clinic. (They had been removing asbestos from the bank building she had been working at.) They can pretty much pinpoint the cause of lung cancer, these days. Anyway, they removed the affected lung, one half of her set, and she had one good year before the cancer came back on her. She passed in 2001, just a few days after 4th of July. It was an awful way to die. She had lost her faith in her 20’s, due to some very unfortunate behavior by “religious” teachers, and I prayed and prayed that she would return to the Lord. I hope and pray that she did have a deathbed conversion, back to the Lord. So, she passed away at 53, when I was 51. Almost 20 years later, I could not get rid of a cold. You see this coming? My doc said that I wasn’t pushing much oxygen in the lower part of my left lung. Test after test got to the fact that I HAD CANCER in my lung!! And I had only smoked for 3 months when I was 18, virtually not a smoker by accounting of the medical people. No one else in our family had ever had lung cancer so we were not predisposed to it. BUT, it wasn’t lung cancer!! It was a rare cancer that just happened to pop up in my lung!! (They don’t know why). A very treatable type, well-contained, slow-growing…. One of the most preferable types to get if you have to have cancer at all, they told me! Cancer had been our no.1 fear since we were children, my sister and I, listening to older parents speak of it all the time. And lung cancer had been my worst fear since my sister died from it – it was so awful to know she was gasping for breath!! But the Lord took my worst fear and taught me through it that I can really really really trust Him!! They removed the lower left lobe of my lungs and I did not have to have chemo, I did not have to have radiation therapy!! And I can breathe so well that some days I forget, (now 2 years later), that it even happened to me! Except that I am changed forever. I have a second chance to trust God every single day of my life!!…and work for His Glory. May it be, Lord. P.S. I was afraid of the biopsy, the big needle and I fought panic. Afterwards, there appeared a bruise on my left arm where they had struggled to insert an IV. And it was in the shape of a heart!! I know that it was from my Sweet Lord Jesus Savior and Redeemer!! Praised be His Name!!!

  14. Melanie says:

    My heart breaks with all the other requests for prayer on reply. I lost my son to suicide in 2016 and have been embroiled in an ongoing custody case with my now 13 year old grandson- the systems are all broken and not fair at all- his Nana now sharing custody as his mother, who is an addict, left again -left Aug- returned Jan3- left ? I was informed thru attorney she is gone again. I have seen God carry me and my husband thru this trial and your podcasts and emails have been one of many things God brought to keep my eyes focused on him. My grandson is failing in school, his Nana railroading counseling, psychological and everthing- now demanding his social security benefits–Prayes daily to thwart her evil and that her daughter get help.I wrote down the prayer for Breath of God and have by my computer- Lifting all others to prayer also.

  15. when i had covid back in january 2022 i had the breath nook out of me because every time when i eat every thing wood come back up and aft i got over covid i was still gettin sick but god was stil by my side i am so glad that god is a hilling he has hill me from all of my sickings

  16. Corrie Woods says:

    Dear Rachel, your emails and face book posts are just so wonderfull. I’m going through a wind knock out of me time. I’m 70 and my husband has planned this very carefully, he walked out on me with all the money that we sold the place for. 😥 I can’t work due to my back that is so bad and I could not get the pension in this country. I was also conned into marriage to this wonderful Christian man. And for the last 10 years he get depressed every now and then and do stupid things and I give him another chance. But this time he completely took the wind out of my sails. So I read your posts and get a lot of inspiration. Thank you so much. Love in Jesus name. Corrie

    • Rachel Wojo says:

      Oh Corrie. I’m so happy that the Lord uses my writing to encourage your heart. It’s an honor and privilege to serve you. He is with you. He hears the cry of your heart and Lord, I ask you would blanket Corrie’s heart with the comfort and peace only You can provide. Jesus, be her Healer and Provider and every breath.

  17. Ramona says:

    I don’t know where to begin. Nor do I know how to articulate what Im dealing with. I feel like I’m suffocating. I don’t want to sound superficial or selfish. But walking in faith is not easy and I have moments of despair. I know and trust God is here and very present in my life. But lately I just can’t stop crying. I’m chasing a destiny that feels so far away. I know one day soon I’ll get there God promised me. The road to getting there hurts and extremely hard at times. So I feel like I’m suffocating needing God to hold me.

    • Rachel Wojo says:

      I’m so sorry for your heartache, Ramona. This life can be so trying. The journey so difficult. He is with You. Soak in his presence and lean into his chest. He loves you so much and his heart beats for you, his precious daughter. God, be Ramona’s oxygen today. Flood her being with the breath that only you can provide. Saturate her mind with fresh wind from Your Spirit, I pray.

  18. Beth says:

    So many years has my heart been in pain and my body in fight or flight. 2017 I got divorced and moved back in with my parents in the midst of their bankruptcy. Every year for them trying to make payments was stressful and agonizing. My nephew of 2 passed away in 2019 followed by my grandfather in 2020. Last August, my dad died. He was my go to parent. Both went into the hospital with Covid, only one came back. My mom is a difficult mother. Soon after dads funeral she broke her arm. Three weeks after she was in the hospital and rehab and finally home, she went back in the hospital for other things and is now on dialysis. Trying to get her into section 8 housing is hard and trying to find my own place has been difficult. I wake up with anxiety every day and have so much fear. I pray and cry, but don’t know how I will see tomorrow.

  19. Melanie says:

    The breath was knocked out of me on an ongoing basis on April 4, 2015 and the following years when the county sheriff showed up at my door to tell me that they found the body of my son who committed suicide. I don’t know how I would have learned to breath again if not for the ongoing love of God. He reminded me often that he knew how I felt as he had also had a precious son who died. But because his son was raised from the dead, he could share the same promise for my son. There are still days when that grief can punch me in the gut and leave me breathless, but I have his presence with me now and the promise of resurrection and the life to come.

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"We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well…" 1 Thessalonians 2:8