Every Breath I Take
A couple of weeks ago, I was awakened by a horrific sound coming from the kitchen. I ran in to find my husband unable to breathe. It was just past midnight, and he had been suffering from a terrible cough, when he woke to find himself unable to get enough oxygen into his lungs. Obviously, he was in a panic, for without air, one cannot live. After a time of struggle, he was able to calm down, but he still knew that something was terribly wrong. During all of our years together, we have never had to call an ambulance, so here I was in a German speaking country during the middle of the night trying to communicate what had just happened.
I have to say that the two EMTs were wonderful! They spoke good English, were calm and professional, and were even able to joke with us Americans, knowing that we’d have huge bottles of over-the-counter meds that we had brought back from the US. ☺ It turns out that Greg’s vocal cords were so inflamed that they were blocking his airway. He also was suffering from a viral infection in his lungs, thus compounding the problem.
This situation got me to thinking about a little girl that was born to some of our friends. She had been diagnosed while her mother was still pregnant with a birth defect that was so severe that it literally made life outside the womb impossible. Even so, the parents carried their little girl to full term, and gave birth to her in the hospital. They thought that she would only live for minutes or hours, but she hung on for eight days. One of the family’s friends wrote a poem at that time, stating that her very breath was praise to God. I’ve remembered that for all these years, and just recently found a post by a lady named Daje Morris from 2017. Its title was “to breathe is to worship God.” She said that the Hebrew term for God is YHWH (Yahweh/Jehovah), which are the two syllables in the sounds of breathing in and then breathing out. In other words, every time that we breathe, we are giving praise to God with our very breath!
There are numerous times throughout the Bible where breath is used almost as a synonym for life. In Genesis, we are told that “the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the BREATH OF LIFE.” In the book of Acts, the Apostle Paul says that “He himself gives to all people LIFE AND BREATH.” In the book of Psalms, we read, “I will pray as long as I have BREATH!” So, yes, breathing is basically synonymous with life, so as long as I have the BREATH to live and to speak, I will praise the Lord.
So, that horrific night where I watched my husband struggle for every breath, was a visible reminder that it is God who gives us every single breath that we take.
This is the air I breathe, your holy presence living in me.
This is my daily bread, your very word spoke to me.
And I, I’m desperate for you, and I’m lost without you.
Because of His Faithfulness,
Sharon Brobst, Director
(to listen to the song, “Breathe” by Michael W. Smith, click here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ZHN46gsbLc)