The breath of the almighty

I have fondness for this windy weather. Autumn is my favourite time of year, low sunsets, crisp days bathed in colour, deep glossy conkers on the ground. When I think about the wind I think about the Holy Spirit, the breath of God. One of my favourite passages in the bible really articulates the indescribable wonder of the breath of God.

“But it is the spirit of a person, the breath of the almighty, that gives them understanding. It is not only the old who are wise, not only the aged who understand what is right.” Job 32:6-9

I often imagine the impact of the breath of God on a person. Is it a physical experience that blows you off your feet, does it blow strongly behind you so you walk faster whether you like it or not, is it like the cool minty breath of a freshly brushed mouth that catches all your senses with a refreshing blast. Is the breath of God a whisper of scripture in your ear, or is it like the air filled bellows blowing the fire in your heart, igniting the flames with more oxygen, a surge of heat and desire. Is the breath of God like that breath of fresh air when you experience something new and inviting, does it blow gently over your closed eyes when you are exhausted, when you can feel it but you are just too tired to wake.

When I was a girl I found a large bird’s feather and attached it to a pole so I could use it as a guide to see how hard the wind was blowing. The post was attached to a shallow brick wall in my grandparent’s garden, and I would stand on it with my arms open letting the wind blow through me. I would spent many hours in the garden in silence with just the symphony of the trees lulling my busy mind. I think about that feather blowing in the wind, so delicate yet so hardy, an object that moves with the bird yet moves with the wind also.

Perhaps when it comes to receiving the breath of God we are meant to be a bit like the feather. We move in our own way yet we are guided and influenced by the wind. We are delicate yet so hardy and God knows this, his breath changes with the way we are feeling. We are uplifted and aerodynamic with a strong wind, yet cared for and thought about when the sky is still.

Whatever the forecast, God is constant and always there, his breath is the breath of life, blowing love, hope, and joy into all of us.

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