Oftentimes, over the years, I have stood at the bedside of our sleeping children, hand gently placed on their backs, only to feel the gentle inhales and exhales flow from their bodies. Sometimes, I would stand at the door and listen, but other times I needed to lay my hands on them and feel the movement for myself. With a deep sigh, I would often bend down and gently place a kiss on their forehead or cheek and walk away with a prayer of thanksgiving on my lips. (Full disclosure: they are 12 and 13, and yes, I still do this.)
To hear them breathing, evidence of life—especially in times of sickness—a gift to the senses beyond my power to describe.
In times of turmoil, when our souls are weighed down with sorrow and despair, I picture God looking down on us with Jesus at His side. Teary eyes watching the rhythm of life, every breath a precious gift from His hands. Yet, in times of pain, I can almost feel His kiss on my temple and His hand on my back, reassuring and comforting. He understands, more than anyone, the pains associated with the gift.
And then I picture the palpable physical presence of the Holy Spirit—ruach—breath in motion. The power that propels, that keeps us moving beyond our own strength, our own abilities.
As believers, what fills us up and flows from us.
John 20: 21-22
Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.” 22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.
Another gift beyond my power to describe.
But God's Word has no such problem. Here are only a few descriptions from Scripture: dove, wind, breath, fire, oil of anointing, water, seal, deposit, shepherd, voice, gift from God, power of God . . .
Then, upon consideration, I understand this passage a little more with every passing day:
Matthew 6:28 And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin,29 yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?
At the end of the day, even in times of turmoil, maybe even especially in times of turmoil, I am watched over and held up, filled with a breath I can't see, touched by mighty hand who has it under control—even my inhales and exhales.
So, 'tis the season, and this is one of my very favorites. Enjoy!
Amanda Williams is a forty-year old wife and mother of two who can still swing her pony tail and display just a tad of sass. She is also a Jesus loving girl who realizes she is nothing without the One who saved her. Amanda has two degrees specializing in serving students with special needs and is currently working in the field of Leadership Development. She is a Christian author, speaker, blogger, and publisher who loves serving beside her husband at her local place of worship, First Baptist Church of Ocala.