Recently a friend messaged a powerful song for me to listen to by Hillary Scott called Still. The message of the song resonated deeply with my soul. One phrase hit me hard: “And trust that You are parting waters,” Many contemporary songs speak of God parting the waters or splitting the seas such as the Red Sea, like He did for Moses and the Israelites (see Exodus 14). Yet, as I listened to the lyrics, I found myself feeling as though I was drowning in the sea rather than walking on solid ground. Can I trust God to part the waters? Can you?

I replied to my friend with a prayer to “be still as God parts the waters, but praying I didn’t drown first.” The responding message shared about the experience of scuba diving. My friend shared that: “when scuba diving we always dive with a buddy for safety. If I run out of air in my tank I must “buddy breathe” with my dive buddy. I have done that for real.”

Buddy – A close friend. A working companion with whom close cooperation is required.

I appreciated and needed the scuba lesson. Buddy breathing is a rescue technique used when two divers share one air tank alternatively breathing from it. Because the divers remain near one another, help occurs during a crisis. Running out of breathing air happens for different reasons, two of which might be unforeseen exertion or equipment failure.

Sometimes, without warning, life’s circumstances force pressure, pain, and unpredictable strain upon us (unforeseen exertion). This causes breathing, figuratively speaking, to be difficult physically, emotionally, spiritually, and relationally. Or, perhaps the body literally reacts to difficult conditions by shutting down normal bodily function (equipment failure). I needed the reminder that in those moments and even the long seasons of life when the tank runs dry, the nearness of God offers His buddy breath to flow into those places of need. Psalm 145:18 states this reality: “The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.”

Times arise when we experience “can’t breathe” situations. In those crisis situations, God breathes for us – He buddy breathes into our soul sustaining our very being.

The last season of life has been very difficult for me. Maybe it has been for you too?! In my life a deep dive has ensued, pressing me down like a French press, suffocating at times, leaving me to wonder where my “Buddy” was to help me breathe. The tumultuous waves of disordered living surrounded me and crashed upon my soul. The depths of despair tangled around my ankles pulling me to the murky mud buried under weighty water. I choked and gasped for air seeking refuge in God and His life-giving breath.

The steady love of God continues to meet me in the darkness and keeps me buoyant and close to His life-sustaining air. God offers His presence and breath, even though the murky waters often cloud my view of His close proximity. Nevertheless, even when God seems distant and the air in the tank used up, He reaches out sharing His powerful sustaining breath.

Buddy – A close friend. A working companion with whom close cooperation is required.

How close are you to the One who calls you Friend? (see James 15:15) God is your close companion; He is beside you. What helps remind you for God’s extravagant love, enduring grace, and almighty strength? God offers Himself to us at all times in all ways, whatever the predicament, high or low.

Cooperate with God by getting to know Him. Learn how to live from God. Spend time growing with Jesus by reading the Bible. Talk with and listen to God in prayer. Create with the Creator of the universe in your hobbies and passions. Worship your Savior with voice and body. Sit in silence with the Holy Spirit, just being. Examine your ways, confessing sin and receiving forgiveness. Celebrate community with disciples of Jesus. Serve the searching, loving like Jesus. Walk in love aligning your whole being with your Friend, and Lover of your soul.

Perhaps you feel as though deep waters engulf you and your limbs flail about announcing distress. God sees. God hears. God weeps. God loves. God rescues. When you find yourself in “can’t breathe” spaces, notice God buddy breathing with you. Remember He companions alongside you. The nearness of God accompanies you. Lift your needs, wounds, and desires to the One who loves and holds you, allowing Him to breathe for you.

Even if the waters don’t seem to part, you can trust God’s presence to offer breath and life in the midst of the pounding waves of your circumstance.

Breathe deeply the buddy breath of God remembering you are never alone in the stormy seas of life.

Drips from the Word: Muse about these Bible verses. Let these truths impact your living.

Psalm 63:1-3 –   Save me, God! I am about to drown. I am sinking deep in the mud, and my feet are slipping. I am about to be swept under by a mighty flood. I am worn out from crying, and my throat is dry. I have waited for you till my eyes are blurred.

Psalm 34:18 –  The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

Splashes from the Spigot: Drink from deep wells. Read these recommended books to fill your soul.

Stacy Averette. When Life is Hard: 50 Reminders that God is Near. Carol Stream, IL. 2020.

Billy Graham. Hope for Each Day: Words of Wisdom and Faith.   Nashville, TN. 2017.

Sprinklings of Truth: Soak in meaningful songs. Check out these music videos to lift up your spirit.

Chris McClarney. God of Miracles.

Michael W. Smith. This is the Air I Breathe.