Today, I am grateful for my ability to breathe normally and naturally. Perhaps this sounds a bit unusual to you, but for me, it’s something that I try to reflect on frequently.

You see, I have asthma. Indeed, my brother and I both have it (his is worse, although I am better at taking my inhalers daily than he is. He can go long stretches without taking his medicine, but end up in the hospital; I take mine every day, but when my asthma acts up, I get very short of breath). I know that there are scores of other people out there who have asthma far worse than mine, but it still has been something I’ve struggled with for most of my life.

Usually, I don’t think about my asthma, until something happens to trigger a flare-up (for instance, whenever I get my carpets cleaned, my asthma can be set off for weeks at a time!). When this happens, I am conscious of almost every breath I take, because doing so takes effort. Also, being short of breath contributes to my anxiety, so it’s hard to feel laid-back and relaxed when my asthma is flaring up.

Lord knows that I have tried to pray my asthma away, but I have come to accept that it is now part of my life. Most of the time – if I follow my doctor’s directives and take my two inhalers daily – my life is fairly normal. However, when I am exposed to certain triggers, all bets are off, and contending with my asthma becomes a hardship.

However, in the midst of this diagnosis, the Lord has brought wonderful medical practitioners into my life. I have a fantastic allergist (who feels more like a family friend than a doctor at times) and a primary care physician who I wouldn’t trade for anything in the world! These two men know me, care about me as a person – rather than seeing me as a patient with a problem – and they are concerned that the quality of my life is good. I am tremendously blessed to have these wonderful men in my life.

So, unless the Lord says otherwise, I’ll be taking my inhalers for the rest of my days. However, having this condition has made me grateful for each breath that I take – truly, the very air we breathe (and having an intact and functional respiratory system) is a gift from God.

Here is my prayer for today: Dear God, thank You for allowing me to breathe! I am so grateful. Perhaps if I did not have asthma, I would not be as appreciative of this gift. Thank You also for placing me in a part of the world where the air quality is generally quite good, and where I rarely have to contend with external triggers like second-hard smoke or heavy perfumes and colognes. Thank You also for giving me wonderful doctors who have given me the medicine that I need so that I can breathe normally, for the part; I am so thankful that these men care for me, and treat me with genuine care and concern. May I always have the wisdom and knowledge to follow their expert guidance, and take my medicines as prescribed (thanks also for my medical insurance, so that I can pay reasonable rates for my inhalers!).

I also pray for the thousands (millions?) of other asthma sufferers in the world, whose diagnoses are likely worse than mine. You know, Lord, that there are people who are unable to leave their homes due to this condition, and/or for whom asthma often proves to be debilitating – even to the point of death. According to Your will and purpose, I ask for You to provide healing for these individuals – whether You choose to do so miraculously, through a medical intervention of some kind, or some other way is up to You, of course. Please continue to help my fellow asthma sufferers in the way that You have so graciously helped – and continue to help – me. In Christ’s name I pray, Amen.

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