‘And the LORD GOD formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.’
When I began on my spiritual journey, one of the things I had cut out was reading the news. It would fill me with dread and fear and hopelessness. Sometimes, it’s necessary to shut yourself away from this world, so that we can come back IN it without being OF it.
Today I am capable of reading the news without complete desperation. It hurts my heart but I now know the power of prayer and I know that God is in control.
But I must admit that these days, with the locusts in Africa, the Syrian refugees, the famine in Yemen, the Coronavirus , etc… it can be overwhelming.
Just now I read that the virus has mutated and is even deadlier. True or not, it’s difficult to find peace in all of this hype.
How I like to see it, is that this virus is a gentle way of God telling us to take a step back, and simply rest. Just like when you’re overworked and you catch a cold and you’re obligated to take care of yourself, to take a bath, to sleep , to eat well. Maybe as a planet, as a collective, that is exactly what we need to do, to take care of ourselves and to stop running around so much. And just like in my life, when I fell ill, I knew if I continued with my toxic lifestyle, I would have developed cancer. So let’s look at this virus as a blessing, because it could and should be much worse. Considering how we are living, how we treat each other and this planet, we deserve much worse than the Coronavirus.
So what do we do in times where it seems like there is nothing we can do? We do the simplest thing: we breathe . We don’t need to stock up on toilet paper and hand sanitizer. We simply need to bring our focus back to the most natural of things, our breath.
We need to remember the beauty of every breath. And to give thanks to the Most High for this life that we have.
A few days ago I fell upon a teaching that I really wanted to share because I find it so beautiful and appropriate for these present times.
In the book of Exodus, when God reveals Himself to Moses, and commands Him to free the Israelites from Egypt. Moses is concerned how will he convince them all that the message is from God.
Then Moses said to God, “If I come to the people of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ what shall I say to them?” God said to Moses, “I am who I am.” And he said, “Say this to the people of Israel: ‘I am has sent me to you.’” God also said to Moses, “Say this to the people of Israel: ‘The Lord, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you.’ This is my name forever, and thus I am to be remembered throughout all generations.”
God is called at least 1000 names in the Bible, but the name that stands alone is YHWH. That is the name that God has chosen ‘to be remembered throughout all generations.’ The best English translation would be LORD , all capital letters.
In Jewish tradition, it was considered too sacred to say His name out loud. And overtime the Jews substituted YHWH with ‘adonai’ (my lord) or Elohim (God). But these words can be used for other things where as YHWH is reserved exclusively as a name for God.
YHWH was forbidden to pronounce because the Jews considered themselves and all humans to be unworthy to pronounce His name.
But what if there is a deeper truth? What if YHWH is unpronounceable because the name of God transcends human language. The name of God doesn’t belong to Hebrew, or Greek or Aramaic or Sanskrit .
If one attempts to prononce YHWH, one simply ends up breathing. The name of God cannot be spoken, only breathed.
How beautiful is that?
That God is so generous , He gave Himself a name that we all speak every moment we are alive.
And it’s for everyone, there is no Chinese or Tanzanian way to breathe, there is no rich or poor way to breathe, there is no Bhuddist or Islamic way to breathe. It is accessible for us all at all times.
And so I urge you all, in these times that seem to be spinning out of control, to simply find a comfortable space and rest, bringing your attention back to your breath, to the life force flowing in and out of your body.
Feel the wonder of life inside of you, knowing that God is closer to you than the air you breathe, calling upon His name with each inhalation and each exhalation.
Take this time to be grateful and to give thanks for each breath, as each breath is a gift from God to carry you on to fulfill your purpose.
We thank you for the gift of life, and we shall rejoice and be glad in whatever it holds, knowing that with each breath we can call upon You. You, that offers a peace that goes beyond understanding. Bless us, Father God, with stillness so that we can know You. So that we can know your love and your mercy, so that we can know peace and rest.