In our latter days of church attendance, we encountered the Michael W. Smith song, “Breathe,” in which the lyrics state,
“This is the air I breathe.
“This is the air I breathe.
“Your holy presence living in me.”
The chorus says,
“And I am desperate for you.
“And I am lost without you.”
The words, set to a haunting melody, impacted me, and in the time subsequent I have often stopped to observe my breathing, with each respiration thinking, “You and I, Father, are sharing the same breath. And I only take that breath because you give it to me.”
In Genesis 2:7 we are told,
“The Lord God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.”
Now I have read this verse many times, generally in conjunction with the children’s AWANA program, when my central focus was to get some very young child to the point that he or she could repeat it, verbatim, without snickering over the word, “nostrils.”
I no longer care about this issue, and this last week when I encountered the verse I tried to read it as if it were for the first time, as opposed to the 63rd or 87th, and understand what it was saying:
Our very breath comes from God.
Inhale. And Exhale. And repeat. I don’t know how many times we breathe in a day or a month or a lifetime, but I do know that, not only do we do so most of the time without any conscious thought, but even when we do think about taking a breath, we can’t create it on our own. It is given to us, as a gift, from God, the giver of all life.
“O Lord, you have searched me and you know me,” Psalm 139 tells us.
“You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar.
“You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways.
“Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O Lord.”
Now when men focus upon our private lives — with their cameras, their hidden microphones, their software programs, their government agencies — it’s creepy. But when it comes to God, in whom there is no darkness at all (1 John 1:5), there is comfort in knowing that the creator of all things — me, and you, the sparrows that fall to the ground and the people we love — is aware, and cares about, our hurts, anxieties, joys, fears, hopes, dreams, and deep, deep, aching desires.
He is not off, preoccupied, in some distant quarter, unaware of us or incapable of keeping track of us amidst all the other people He has made. He is close — so close that we share the same breath — and our life is intertwined with Him, so intertwined that our very next breath is in His hands.
Please read more on this subject at my Commonsense Christianity article at BeliefNet, Without God, We’ve Got Ten Minutes, Tops.
This post is linked to A Little R and R, Arabah Joy, Rebecca, Christian Mom Blogger, Create with Joy, Hearts for Home, Thought Provoking, Tell It Tuesdays, My Joy-Filled Life, Soul Survival, Motivate, Good Morning, A Look at the Boo
I’ve been reading you for a long time, both in the art world and the spiritual world. You are a wonderful writer and I always look forward to what you have to say. Thank you for the link to “Breathe”. I’m a big music lover and appreciate it. It is a beautiful piece.
Keep up the good work,
Mary Kay Bristol
Oh, Mary — thank you for your good, kind, encouraging words. It’s all linked, you know — art, finances, education, spirituality — and in the same way that it can be linked for good, it can be used for bad. The same deceit and deception we see in politics and the art world, is alive, well, and thriving in the religious arena. It’s worth speaking the words God gives us, if only to awaken one person to go on to do what he or she needs to do.
My favorite quote:
“But when it comes to God, in whom there is no darkness at all (1 John 1:5), there is comfort in knowing that the creator of all things… is aware, and cares about, our hurts, anxieties, joys, fears, hopes, dreams, and deep, deep, aching desires. He is not off, preoccupied, in some distant quarter, unaware of us or incapable of keeping track of us amidst all the other people He has made. He is close …and our life is intertwined with Him, so intertwined that our very next breath is in His hands.”
Thank you for reminding me that He is right here, exactly where I need Him most. And thank you for linking at #MotivateRMday!
It’s a reminder we all need, and that the sentiment is repeated in Psalms in various forms, shows us that we are not alone in doubting, more than we want to, that God is near, that He cares, that He hears our prayers and understands our feelings. You are right — right here, with us, is where we need Him most!
Wow, you have really opened up our relationship with God, He is there and we breathe the same breath. Thank you for sharing at Good Morning Mondays. Blessings
It is time to speak forcefully and insistently about the love of God — something the conventional religious establishment propounds, but does not follow through on. We have to ask ourselves very hard questions, the answers to which will affect how we see our Father: If He is loving, then His actions must make sense. Quite baldly and frankly, much of evangelical Christian teaching presents a God who is angry, irritable, and quite willing to toss people in the fire, for no more reason than that they did not say the right words.
The conventional answer to this is, “God’s ways are not our ways.” Exactly. His ways are higher. We would not abandon our children because they don’t repeat the words we tell them to say, because our love for them is deeper, stronger, more impacting than that. If we, who are mere men, look deeper than the surface level of words and superficial actions to see within the souls of our children, how much more so does our perfect Father do this? This is the Father we are looking for, because this is the only one worth finding.