Breathe, pastor. You’ve made it this far. So don’t collapse when the adrenaline wears off.
Remember Adam, formed from dust, whose first gasping breath came from God. “Then the LORD God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature” (Gen 2:7). In gritty detail, the Creator dug his hands into the mud and sculpted the man as a potter fashions clay (see Job 10:8a, 9a; 33:4). With that one breath, man’s lungs leapt into life, expanding and contracting. His heart began to beat, circulating blood and neurosignals sparked the movements through his body. With life’s first breath, the dust burst forth into DNA and made the man a living soul (Ezek 37:9-10).
So pastor, breathe. For your Creator gave you life and knows your need for rest.
Remember Adam, fallen in sin, whose name declared the earthy ground itself. “Therefore, the LORD God sent him out from the garden of Eden to work the ground from which he was taken” (Gen 3:23). Like the Creator, man’s work was messy, plowing the soil from which he came and trusting God to give the growth (1 Cor 3:6-7).
Breathe, pastor. You are not the Creator, who alone assigned you to your task and holds your ministry in his hands.
Remember Adam, cursed by death, whose final breath would also come from God: “For you are dust, and to dust you shall return” (Gen 3:19). The Maker chiseled Adam from the stuff of rocks—a crafted masterpiece (Eph 2:10). Yet, at his death, each fallen man would humbly hug the earth.
So pastor, breathe. Be still in prayer (Gen 18:27). Let the Creator put you in your place of tremendous dignity yet meager worth. Look in the mirror and praise your God, for whom you are “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Ps 139:13-14). You depend on him for life and breath and are intimately loved by Him (Acts 17:25, 28).
Remember Adam, whose first breath brought him face-to-face with God.
And then remember Christ, the second Adam is made from the stuff of heaven, who gasped for breath as he hung upon the cross: “Father, forgiven them, for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34). Remember Christ, who himself descended into dust for three mournful days until his glorious resurrection: “Thus it is written, ‘The first man Adam became a living being’; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit” (1 Cor 15:45). Remember Christ, who gave you breath and brought you face-to-face with God (Rom 5:6-11).
“Thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain” (1 Cor 15:57-58).
Tom Sugimura pastors New Life Church in Woodland Hills, CA. He trains church planters, international pastors, and biblical counselors. He has also authored two books, Hope for New Dads and God’s Answers to Life’s Most Difficult Questions. He and his wife, Amanda, are busy raising four rambunctious children.