God’s Living Breath

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

Slowly take a deep breath (through your nose), hold it a second or two, then release it slowly (through your mouth). Try it again. And again….

Breathing air is necessary for life. Without breath we are a lifeless shell. I had a particularly busy morning and finally after lunch got into my prayer room. As I settled in to spend time with God, my lungs automatically let out a huge sigh of air. It felt so good to breathe that large breath out! Sometimes we need to do that. It relaxes and settles us. And then we can focus on the next thing.

Years ago, I learned about God’s “breath of life”, or in Hebrew, “ruach”, pronounced “roo- ock”. The breath of God (or Holy Spirit) moved over the waters as God created earth. The breath of God went into a dust-being and man became alive. The breath of God raised Jesus from the dead. The breath of God lives in us and gives us life until the breath leaves us. I like some of the phrases about breath: “I need to catch my breath.” “I had the breath knocked out of me.” “I held my breath.” And so forth….

I think there are many days that we race through life and our lungs do the actual physiological job of breathing, but our souls don’t breathe. We are pent-up with anxiety, worry, activity, or frustration. Taking deep “cleansing” breaths (like I described at the beginning) can restore health to our bodies, clear out our minds, relax our spirits, and calm us down. I find taking deep cleansing breaths when I am out of sorts really does relax me and calm my spirit. Sometimes I also imagine breathing in something good, like God’s love, or God’s peace, and breathing out a worry, or a sin.

Do you feel the need to breathe today? To relax your soul, let out your worries and stress, and get refocused? Use the breath God gave you, let those lungs do their job, and find a path for a calmer spirit… You can do it!

Prayer–“God, thank you for giving me the breath of life in your Holy Spirit. I pray today to slow down and breathe, knowing you can help me get back on track with what I should be doing. Calm me, restore me, refresh me. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”


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