Take a breath.
Take a deep breath.
In. Out. In. Out. Breathe.
In... 2... 3... 4...
Hold... 2... 3... 4... 5... 6... 7...
Out... 2... 3... 4... 5... 6... 7... 8.
Hear the air sweep up your nostrils and blow out your mouth. Feel the cleansing of stale air in your diaphragm as you force your breath out.
This article is set to post on December 26th, Boxing Day of 2019. Perhaps your Christmas celebration was a whirlwind of activity, filled with family and friends, so today you just need to catch your breath before the New Year begins. Perhaps you had a quiet Christmas, maybe even sad or lonely at times. You held your breath, trying to get through the season without breaking down, so today you breathe deeply to ready yourself to carry on, to finish the last few days of the year. Whatever the case, just breathe.
We usually breathe without thinking about it. Breathing is an automatic physical response by our bodies because we need oxygen. 24/7 we breathe. When we need more oxygen, we may yawn. When we physically exert ourselves, we may gasp, taking in small quick bits of oxygen as our heart beats faster to move oxygen through our blood.
Breathing is a wonderful, complex action.
Breathing techniques like the one shown above are used for relaxation, to increase oxygen flow, and to calm anxiety. By concentrating on our breathing, the brain is forced to slow down and stress and anxiety symptoms are lessened until we can once again respond to the moment, not react to the imagined.
This Christmas season, I have been thinking about breathing and how, though I take it for granted most of the time, God’s breath really is central to His gift to each one of us.
Our physical breath comes from God, from the way He designed our bodies. Everyone, believer or not, benefits from this design. Genesis 2:7 (NASB) says, “Then the Lord God formed man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.”
God’s own breath blown into our nostrils to give life to our bodies. At the same time, our soul, mind, and emotions were awakened. We live. We were created by God, in His image, and given life from His very breath.
Amazing! In the beginning, God breathed life into us.
At the birth of Christ, the reason we celebrate the Christmas season, God became Emmanuel. God with us. Jesus, God’s Son, our Messiah, was born just like us and physically lived among us. Although Jesus had power over the physical, demonstrated by calming seas and healing bodies, he chose to be limited by the very breath needed on this earth. He probably even had the hiccups, yawned, and gasped as he ran with his boyhood friends. His breath was ragged as he mourned his friend Lazarus and the state of Jerusalem, and he sobbed in the Garden of Gethsemane. Jesus experienced the basic need for oxygen, for breath, to live among us.
Thirty-three years later, Jesus was put to death on the cross. Mark 15:39 (NASB) describes that time by referring to Jesus’ breath. “When the centurion, who was standing right in front of Him, saw the way He breathed His last, he said, “Truly this man was the Son of God!” Jesus gave up his breath for us, to take the punishment of death that each of us deserves. Jesus is the perfect sacrifice needed for the forgiveness of our generational sin. Once again, God’s breath gives us life.
Three days later, God raised Jesus from the tomb. Jesus defeated death and breathed again to show that death does not end life. God’s breath, given to our body at creation, is eternal and, believer or not, there is a future eternity waiting for us. We have the choice to accept Jesus’ sacrifice and victory so we can breathe with God, or we will forever be gasping and sobbing as we breathe without God.
After the resurrection, the Holy Spirit, our Comforter, came to dwell in believers, into the very heart and soul of those who believe the death and resurrection of Jesus is the only way to have a relationship with our Holy Creator. The Spirit in us allows God to breathe through us in our lives on earth.
Breath is a basic need of our bodies, and the basic need of our souls. This Christmas, as you celebrate Emmanuel with us, will you live the coming days and years with God, allowing Him to breathe through you?
Take the breath God offers through His Son.
Take a deep breath.
In... to accept salvation...
Hold... in thanks for eternity with God...
Out... in confidence of God breathing through you.
*photos compliments of CCO license, Pixabay.com