ADHD Christianity: Introduction to John 17

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Tuesday, August 2, 2022 0 comments

by Eric Hansen

“Then the LORD God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.” - Genesis 2:7

Ever have shower thought? You’re taking a shower, bath, out in the pool, etc. and some random thought just pops into your head. That happened to me and is part of the inspiration of this blog post (and this series).

I’ve had asthma ever since I was about 12 (as of this writing, I’m 35). I’ve definitely had my fair share of times I literally could not breathe, almost like I was Adam before God gave him life. When you have an asthma attack, the typical process you follow is to try and relax (stressing about the event only causes the breathing to become more shallow) and use an inhaler. If you’re able, a nebulizer is an even better option, and far more portable now than they were back then. But when you feel lifeless, you just look forward to that next breath.

One time when I was in the doctor’s office going through a bit of an asthma attack, the nurse gave me a nebulizer treatment. During that time, she instructed me to make a closed fist with my thumb inside of the fingers (basically resting on the palm and fingers on top of the thumb), and put my arms and hands to my side. This could be done sitting down, standing up, etc. It opens up your airwaves more and helps you breathe better. There was a sense of “I’m going to be okay,” and it reminded me of when God breathed into Adam.

The objective of the above story is to highlight the importance of life and breathing and how they’re interconnected. It’s also become a very helpful mechanism when I have panic attacks due to my hyper-focusing, leading to catastrophic thinking. It’s led to many thoughts of “God doesn’t love me” and, if you can believe it, worse than that. During a therapy session, my therapist instructed me to read John 17. Ultimately, this is a very beautiful passage of Jesus praying for all believers throughout the world and until the end of time. When reading this passage, it grounds me into the present, even if the present is just the fact I’m reading something or if it’s a feeling washing over me of “God really does love me and He’s right here with me.”

The meaning of the chapter is straightforward as I said above, but like the layers of an onion, the layers of this chapter go deep and are thick with flavor, substance, and reality. It deserves a deeper focus on application and thought. I’ve often heard and believed that the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5-7 is the crux of Jesus’s ministry. I also see John 17 being the crux of Jesus’ prayers. Nothing about the chapter is focused on Jesus as a man; it is all God-focused. When you are wanting to reel down the anxiety, it really helps to focus on something other than what you’re stressing about. This is especially a good time to be reading God’s Word.

Hyper-focusing can be a great thing, but it can also be horrible depending on what you end up focusing on. During those times of intense fear and concern, reading this passage has helped bring me to the present and give me that life back spiritually speaking a few times as of late; it is like holding my clenched fists to my sides and God breathing into my nostrils. I want to bring this seed to others and let them enjoy the free gift of God’s Word as well, and I hope you will remember this passage and focus on it during your own times of anxiety.

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