The sun is shining in through my window this afternoon as I write this. It’s another truly beautiful day in the north. It’s been a bit chilly lately, but it is winter, so it’s not like it’s been unexpected. Today I am just thinking about breathing in, and breathing out. When was the last time you thanked God for giving you fresh air to breathe? I mean, if you put aside the world, slow right down and really think about it, the experience of taking a nice full breath of fresh air is one of the most basic and beautiful things we experience. But we do it so often, we begin to take it for granted.
I remember when I was a bit younger, after waking up from a surgery that put my leg back together, I found myself just drifting off continually to sleep. I was frustrated that the kind nurse kept waking me up, and I couldn’t quite understand why. Finally, seeing that I wasn’t cluing in, she had to tell me straight: “You’re not breathing. Don’t forget to breathe.”
I don’t think I’ve ever forgotten to breathe before, but after she mentioned it, I did notice it was actually a bit of a problem. Coming to from the anesthesia, my body was so relaxed that it was forgetting to do one of the most basic human things… breathe. It felt good in the moment, but even at the time, I could see that not breathing was fairly unsustainable.
There are so many directions I could go when I’m talking about our very breath. From God breathing life straight into our lungs, to the movement of the Holy Spirit, to the importance of breath (and God Himself) to our continued life. But today, I just want to breathe in and breathe out, and say “Thank You God. That was really, really nice.”
The thing about breathing is that even if our world crumbles around us, until the very last, there is still breath. Which means, whether we’re just having a cranky day, or our lives are crumbling to the ground, there’s still something to be thankful for. Breathe in, and breathe out. “Thank You God. I needed that right now.”
Some people have even said that breathing out and breathing in through your mouth makes the slightest sound. Breathe out, “Ya”. Breathe in, “Weh”. Breathe out, breathe in, “Yaweh.” I don’t know if that happens all the time, but sometimes when I pay attention I do hear it. And even if it doesn’t happen much, it’s nice to be reminded of my Creator, King, and Friend.
I wonder, what are some of the things that you are thankful for today? Maybe it’s something great and wonderful. Maybe all you can find to be thankful for is the breath you breathe. That’s okay too. Just breathe in, and breathe out. “Thank You God. You really do love me.”