February 16, 2022 IAN JONES

BREATH of HEAVEN

BREATH of HEAVEN

Some of you may have seen this piece on social media in recent times. It is a lovely rendering of the meaning (and purpose) of the name of God. Please take a moment to read and ponder.

 

There was a moment when Moses had the nerve to ask God what His name is. God was gracious enough to answer, and the name He gave is recorded in the original Hebrew as YHWH.

Over time we’ve arbitrarily added an “a” and an “e” in there to get YaHWeH, presumably because we have a preference for vowels. But scholars and rabbis have noted that the letters YHWH represent breathing sounds, or aspirated consonants. When pronounced without intervening vowels, it actually sounds like breathing. YH (inhale): WH (exhale).

So, a baby’s first cry, his first breath, speaks the name of God. A deep sigh calls His name – or a groan or gasp that is too heavy for mere words. Even an atheist would speak His name unaware that their very breath is giving constant acknowledgment to God. Likewise, a person leaves this earth with their last breath, when God’s name is no longer filling their lungs.

So, when I can’t utter anything else, is my cry calling out His name?

Being alive means I speak His name constantly. Is it heard the loudest when I’m the quietest?

In sadness, we breathe heavy sighs. In joy, our lungs feel almost like they will burst. In fear we hold our breath and have to be told to breathe slowly to help us calm down. When we’re about to do something hard, we take a deep breath to find our courage.

When I think about it, breathing is giving Him praise. Even in the hardest moments!

This is so beautiful and fills me with emotion every time I grasp the thought.

God chose to give Himself a name that we can’t help but speak every moment we’re alive. All of us, always, everywhere. Waking, sleeping, breathing, with the name of God on our lips.

(Unknown author)

 

Reading this reminded me of a song, written by English singer Chris Eaton back in 1990, called “Breath of Heaven”. A better-known version of the song was recorded by Amy Grant who re-wrote the lyrics and personalised them as a prayer sung by Mary, the mother of Jesus.

However, it is the original version of the song that I have always liked best. And, I do think it synchronizes beautifully with this study of God’s name.


BREATH OF HEAVEN

You are harvest, You are golden sun

You are cool rain, You are all in one

And in all my deepest thoughts

And in all my battles fought

You are within

You are within


You are crimson

You are midnight blue

You have called me to discover You

You have warmed my heart of stone

You have borne my pain alone

Speak to me now, speak to me now, speak to me now


Breath of heaven, hold me together

Be forever near me

Breath of heaven, lighten my darkness

Pour over me Your holiness for You are holy

Breath of heaven


I am waiting in a silent prayer

I am longing to be with You there

And with every fading fear

There is healing in my tears

Now I belong, now I belong, now I am strong


Breath of heaven, hold me together

Be forever near me

Breath of heaven, lighten my darkness

Pour over me Your holiness for You are holy

Breath of heaven

 

Here again we see the thought expressed that the “breath of heaven”, the divine presence, is never distant from us. And, of course, we see that reflected many times in Scripture, don’t we?

Throughout the pages of the Bible, we see that God is breathing life into this world (Genesis 2:7), into the broader universe (Psalm 33:6), into His followers (John 20:22) and into and through His Word (2 Timothy 3:16-17).


Another favourite song of mine, “Breathe Deep” by the Lost Dogs, has a simple message…that we should breathe deep the breath of God and, as we inhale (YH) and exhale (WH), we will better live out and express the nature, character and love of our Lord.


Perhaps these are all very timely reminders then that we should

Breathe deep,

Breathe deep the breath of God,

Breathe deep,

Breathe deep the breath of God.


May God breathe in, on and through you today.