Hazel has been looking at breath and breathing in science and in the Bible.
I had been discussing with a physiotherapist recently how we can breathe in certain ways to help to manage pain. I then found a book ‘The Little Book of Breathing’ by Una L Tudor which showed a variety of breathing techniques to support mental and physical processes. As I explored this theme I realised this wasn’t the complete truth.
Where is God in this life sustaining process?
I wanted to study the Bible to see the truths of God’s breath.
Following the science
Scientists believe breathing is one of our fundamental biological processes. They consider the operation is powered by the primitive part of the brain. Air goes into our lungs, comes back out again, fuelling us year in, year out morning, noon and night.
Creative people observe breath has a visual presence of its own. On cold frosty mornings it curls out of the mouth and it steams up our glasses and our windows.
It can be used to examine our inside world, paying attention to emotions, concerns and cares. Our breathing mirrors our feelings as we become aware of how our chest is falling and rising- quickly, slowly, raggedly, smoothly, wheezily or quietly?
You can ‘catch your breath’ in shock and ‘breathe harder’ as you swim, run or play a musical instrument. You can actively use your breath to ‘breathe through’ panic attacks, public speaking, pain, asthma or labour.
What is the most important part of breath?
So as Christians what do we believe is the most important part of breath? It is how the breath of God sustains us through our physical, mental and spiritual lives.
The breath of God refers to the deepest part of who God is. It also relates to His spirit. It is about how God inter-acts in the world. God does not hold His breath. He is constantly breathing, constantly moving, thus the breath of God declares God’s presence
The Hebrew word for breath can be described as the word Ruach. It means the breath, spirit, wind, the very essence of God.
How else have we seen God’s breath in the world?
‘ In the beginning God breathed over the cosmic chaos bringing creation into existence’. Gen 1:1-2 (paraphrase).
‘He breathed into Adam’s nostrils bringing life into him’. Gen 2:7
‘Scripture was breathed out by God ‘so we are equipped for every good work’. See 2Tim 3:16-17. This enables us to live more faithfully with the Lord.
Therefore as Christians we believe that God’s living breath and spirit continues to move in and around and completely sustain us. It is in understanding how the breath of God moves in our lives and where that is, that we are truly empowered and are fuelled for life. It brings comfort, healing and encouragement.
I pray for us to be given insights to see where God’s breath and spirit is moving us, that it fuels and empowers us through this year. Let’s pray for wisdom, knowledge and spiritual blessings for us all, together with His unyielding presence and comfort.
Thank you Hazel.