God’s Breath Gives Us Life

…then the LORD God formed man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and the man became a living being.    (Gen. 2:7)

I was a competitive swimmer in high school.  In order to stay in shape during the off-season, our coach encouraged us to become lifeguards.  Given the many hours in the pool getting certified was easy.  There was one exercise, though, we all dreaded: mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.

When it became time to learn this exercise the coach asked if there were any volunteers.  Twenty guys didn’t move a muscle.  The coach waited a long time.  He looked at each one of us.  He laughed. He then went to his office and brought out a lifeless dummy and tossed it on the pool’s deck.  He said, “Alright boys, you don’t have to practice on each other. Just do the dummy.”

Today’s scripture proclaims that God’s breath gives us life.  Without God’s breathing into us we’re like that lifeless dummy.  Just as we need to constantly breathe in oxygen to actually live, so we must continually breathe in God’s presence to truly live.

How can we breathe in God’s presence?  Prayer. Worship. Reading scripture. Serving those in need.  Drawing deep from God’s peace when everything is crazy-making within and without. Relying upon God’s grace to forgive others and our own flawed self.  Entrusting a loved one into God’s Almighty power when we’re worried about them. Every time we fall upon our knees when our burdens become too heavy, we’re breathing in God’s presence and power.

As we consider just how much we need God’s breath, I encourage us to say the following prayer.

Father breathe your life into me, so that I’ll never forget that I’m your precious child.

Jesus, breathe your grace into me, so that through my words and actions others may know I am your disciple.

Holy Spirit breathe your inspiration into me, so that I can navigate my days.

Holy Trinity, do your mouth-to-mouth, soul-to-soul, heart-to-heart resuscitation in me, so that I can live and move and have my being to your Glory.  Amen.

Reflection Questions:

  1. What are the ways that God has breathed His life into you?
  1. Have you ever felt like that “lifeless dummy” on pool’s deck? Nothing left to give, to do, to live for?  If so, do you know why and how you got to that place?
  1. Do you need God to resuscitate your dreams, hopes, or faith right now because they are feeling lifeless? If so, what would it take for you to take the time, give the focus, and offer up your need to God?


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