Patience: Don’t Hold Your Breath

Patience is a tricky thing.
When present, it is life-giving, and when lacking, a destroyer.

If you think about it, patience is required in all aspects of life.

So, how is your patience these days, sister?
Are you patient in the process … under stress?
Are you patient with your spouse … with your children?
How about with yourself?

A few months ago, I was drawn into the deep waters of healing once again. Healing that I prayed would happen. Only somewhere deep inside, I envisioned it not being so messy and all-consuming. I thought that all the deeply painful parts had been exposed and healed.

Blindsided again.

The depth of what came next was not only ugly, but devastatingly dark. A literal avalanche of emotion ensued.

Having PTSD, I know how this usually plays out; it just takes time. Time for the body and mind to realize you’re safe, and that the sensory overload and anxiety won’t last forever. Something PTSD survivors can have in common is holding our breath … more like forgetting to breathe altogether.

Have you ever noticed amidst intensely stressful moments, whether physical, spiritual, or emotional, how powerful and calming a series of deep breaths can be? There is scientific evidence that the practice of deep breathing can catalyze healing in our minds and bodies in a variety of ways.

Let’s go back to the beginning for a minute, the very beginning, to be exact. Remember in Genesis when God created man? He formed man from the dust and then breathed life into him. He could’ve chosen to give life any way he wanted, yet God chose to give His very breath.

Breath Is Life.

We can’t live without it. In and of itself, breathing is involuntary. Rarely are we required to think about it until our ability to breathe freely is interrupted. I venture to say most have been encouraged at one time or another to, “Stop and take a deep breath.” How about when illness or injury strikes, causing breathing difficulties? Some of which may require equipment to breathe for us until we regain our ability to breathe freely once again.

That’s a picture of what I needed to navigate this season.
Life-support – an infusion of life-giving breath.

I was in a treacherous place. The tools I had were insufficient for this event, and it was insurmountable for me alone, but not with God and my amazing support system.

Sister, He is The Way. He is truth, and He is the very life that I needed.

I cried, yelled, prayed, praised, and sat with Him … to which my ABBA whispered, “Be patient Anita.”

Initially, that didn’t go over well; in time, though, I began to reflect on the scriptures I knew about patience.

Did you know in the King James translation the word patience appears 34 times?

Me either!

Remembering that not all English words effectively translate from Hebrew, I decided to look it up. As it turns out, the Hebrew word for patience is sav-la-noot, which essentially means the same thing in English. What’s interesting is in both Hebrew and Latin, the word sav-la-noot suggests a primal feeling one experiences when being patient: pain, suffering, and agony.

This is exactly what I was experiencing; not patience itself in the English context, but that primal struggling feeling in the suffering and agony of waiting for my healing.

What caught my eye next was a second Hebrew word for patience, E•rech Ru•ach.

Literally meaning long, sustained breath.

Y’all! I can’t make this stuff up! It’s just too good. My bestie, Melanie, & I call it a God wink!

To the girl who is horribly impatient with herself, suffering the ravages of a PTSD event and forgetting to breathe…

My ABBA said be patient in this suffering …

I am with you …

Take a long deep breath.

There is only one use of E•rech Ru•ach in the Bible and it’s in Ecclesiastes 7:8 “Better is the end of a thing than it’s beginning, and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit.”


My Abba was reminding me that He is faithful to complete that good work He began in me, Philippians 1:6. God was whispering to my feminine, fragile heart…that on the other side of this healing that I’ve prayed for it will be better.

I will be better, more whole.

So I’m choosing to keep being patient in my suffering. Breathing Him in, and together we are going to finish this journey well.

Whatever season you find yourself in, even the really hard ones that take your breath away. Just hold onto Jesus, dear one.

He is the way.
He is the truth.
And His breath IS LIFE.


How do you handle situations that require patience?
Pray about the tools that can help you navigate tough situations that will ultimately increase your patience quotient. Father God, you are so so good, and I know there may be others reading this right now that can’t see a way out of their current situation … and their patience has become intense suffering. ABBA, I pray that you meet them at their greatest point of need, speak to them clearly, intimately, sweetly, and specifically … that their heads and hearts would be lifted, and spirits encouraged. Thank you for your faithfulness to draw near to the brokenhearted, bind up our wounds, and remind us to breathe. In Jesus name, Amen.

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Anita Cook, a spunky Texas native, serves in full-time ministry alongside her husband, Sandy. They serve at Deep Creek Community Church in sunny southwest Florida. Anita’s heartbeat is to see women discover who God created them to be and to walk passionately with the Lord. Nothing brings her more joy than seeing women walk victoriously with their King. Her story is one filled with restoration, new beginnings, and the grace of God as He turned ashes of pain into a beautiful, vibrant ministry. Anita is a mother of three amazing boys, Nana to 3 special grands and one fur baby. She absolutely loves to spend time in the kitchen whipping up something yummy for her houseful of fellas.

Published September 29, 2020