Posts Tagged ‘breath of life’


I close my eyes, allowing its power to wash over me. Loose particles of sand dance up from the shoreline, pelting my feet where I’ve rolled the cuffs of my jeans to ankle height and the waves, placid earlier this morning, protest loudly.

God’s presence is palpable to me; His magnificence tangible–and the taste of my tears mingles with the briny sea. Releasing a sigh, I take in the vastness of the ocean and wonder if I’ll ever move beyond the profound loneliness. The sense of brokenness. The loss.

Planting myself on an abandoned stretch of sand, I gaze across the miles of steel grey. Even the ocean reflects my emotions today.

Lord, I feel so lost. Please help me.

As if in response, the wind batters against my frame and I breathe in the scents of the ocean. Absorb the rush of waves and the call of the terns. I watch as tiny sandpipers scurry on spindly legs dip their beaks beneath the crust of packed sand near the water’s edge in search of dinner.

I know God hears me.

While the answers to my simple prayer involved a slow unfolding of healing, I know many others struggle in the same way. I wonder what lonely place you have found yourself visiting today. Have you, too, been bruised and worn down? Have you been abandoned by someone you love? Are you asking God to meet you in your loss?

Even in the loneliest of places, He resurrects hope.

Ezekiel, one of God’s prophets, knew about isolation and grief. Heartache and pain. He’d suffered the death of wife, “the desire of [his] eyes” (Ezekiel 25: 15 NKJV) and been taken captive by the Babylonians. Not only was he grieving the loss of his beloved, but Ezekiel was enslaved in a foreign country.

No family. No freedom. No future.

But God…

The Wind of Heaven

Opening Ezekiel’s eyes to an amazing vision, the Lord provided His servant the hope for which he longed. He showed Ezekiel a valley filled with brittle bones and said,

“Prophesy to these bones, and say to them, ‘O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord! Thus says the Lord God to these bones: “Surely I will cause breath to enter into you, and you shall live. I will put sinews on you and bring flesh upon you, cover you with skin and put breath in you; and you shall live. Then you shall know that I am the Lord.” ’ ”

Ezekiel complied and the bones, once disconnected, were joined together and cloaked by flesh. Then God used some interesting words in His next command to Ezekiel,

“Also He said to me, “Prophesy to the breath, prophesy, son of man, and say to the breath, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe on these slain, that they may live.” (Ezekiel 37:9)

The word used for breath in these verses is haruah, which means wind of heaven or spirit.  The Spirit of God is the enabler of all life. He was able to reconstruct a valley of bones into an army of men and resurrect the martyred Messiah as victorious King.

When we feel as though, “our hope is lost” (Ezekiel 37:11), we can call on the Spirit who resurrects hope and life-even in the valley of dry bones.

Haruah God,

You are the One who breathes life into my spirit. I know you see my heart; you know my thoughts.

My tears pour out before you until I feel as though I’ve wept the last of them.

Hope is wrenched from my heart and I feel adrift in my loneliness.

I don’t know where to turn or which steps to take, but I trust you.

When you created man, you brought life from nothingness.

When you raised Christ from the dead, you broke the power of sin in my life.

Today, will you quicken hope inside of me?

I believe, Lord, “help me in my unbelief”. (Mark 9:24)


Peace and grace,


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And the Rock still stands. Solid. Unmoving. Ever-present.

The base of the purple-tipped mountains blurred softly along the undulating edge of the rising fog like the folds of a heavy curtain lifting ever so slowly to reveal the hardscape of Nature’s beauty.

It was only a glimpse. An impression captured on the way to work when, amidst the rush of traffic, I paused at a red light; the Father revealing a simple truth in the imagery of clouds ascending toward heaven.

Sometimes, in the practicality of living, I forget to remember the beauty around me. The living, pulsing artistry of day and night. Moments shared with friends and family. Memories hewn from joy, tears, loss, and celebration. I even forget to remember God’s beauty.

His faithful deliverance from sharp-edged difficulty. His all-embracing, doubt-replacing goodness when I’d given up on everything but merely surviving the day. His unmatched grace and forgiveness for a woman undone by the past and uncertain of the future.

And the Rock still stands. Solid. Unmoving. Ever-present.

A flash of red captured my attention and I shifted my gaze forward. Cars and vans carrying harried passengers in a rush to the next important place—work, school, daycare—hurtled by and I wondered how many noticed the lavender and pink blush of sun pushing the cold, clingy clouds aside to reveal the immovable, constant presence beneath.

I need reminders to alter my focus—like light that envelopes crimson sediment and brushes lingering vapor aside. Perhaps when I pause, I’ll notice Him being revealed in the unexpected and unplanned. In the movement of everyday ebb and flow. In percolating laughter and sympathetic tears.

It only takes a glimpse to notice Him.


Verse for Reflection

Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” Ps. 46:10

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She lay limp in my arms. Not a breath escaped from the perfectly formed mouth.  Her fragile ribcage failed to rise and fall and I knew her tiny heart had ceased beating.  And, for a moment, my own heart stilled.  I paused in horror as my daughter’s lips, face, and body changed from the new-from-heaven shades of pink and cream to a dusky grey and then a deep, unsightly brackish color.

Cradling her tiny body in my arms, I began crying out. “Dave, the baby isn’t breathing!” In a blur of commotion, my child lay motionless atop her changing table–my husband exchanging his life’s breath with our unresponsive daughter. Listen…breathe…compress.

“Ma’am?”  the voice passing through the receiver caught my attention.  “Has your baby choked on something? Does she have a pulse?”

No.  My baby was dead. There was no life remaining.  One minute…two minutes.  Still, the father breathed.

“Please, Lord.  Don’t take the baby…not my baby!”  My prayers emerged loud and desperate–pregnant with a mother’s agony.  Three minutes…four minutes. There wasn’t even the flicker of an eyelid; only the steady rhythm of my husband’s counting–one, two, three, four, five.

Then…five minutes.  The hands on the clock seemed to have stilled and the three of us were trapped in that moment.  Suddenly, Heather gasped for air–an  uneven rasping sound.  At the same time, the firefighters pushed into the crowded nursery.  Like us, they were unbelieving and surprised.  My precious child was alive!

In much the same way, Christ saw his children helpless…dying…exempt from eternal hope.  And without hesitation, He exchanged his own holy life for the lives of fatally sinful people.  His life for mine…and yours.  The moment of Christ’s last breath was a promise for our forever tomorrows.  His precious children are truly alive!

Verse for Reflection:  Colossians 2:13

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