Messages to Mylah
A Deep Breath of God’s Love
Acts 19:1-7 NASB
Now, it happened that while Apollos was away in Corinth, Paul made his way down through the mountains, came to Ephesus, and happened on some disciples there. The first thing he said was, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed? Did you take God into your mind only, or did you also embrace him with your heart? Did he get inside you?” “We’ve never even heard of that—a Holy Spirit? God within us?””How were you baptized, then?” asked Paul.”In John’s baptism.””That explains it,” said Paul. “John preached a baptism of radical life-change so that people would be ready to receive the One coming after him, who turned out to be Jesus. If you’ve been baptized in John’s baptism, you’re ready now for the real thing, for Jesus.”And they were. As soon as they heard of it, they were baptized in the name of the Master Jesus. Paul put his hands on their heads and the Holy Spirit entered them. From that moment on, they were praising God in tongues and talking about God’s actions. Altogether there were about twelve people there that day.
I love these beautiful scriptures, Mylah, and I hope you will love them too. Paul knew Jesus was the real thing, and he also knew that breathing in the Holy Spirit is what makes Jesus real in our lives. Spirit means breath, and that’s what this message is all about.
You were not breathing when you were arrived in this world, sweet Mylah. I was at my home with your big sister Lillyann, so I did not see Tyler’s face when he realized you were not breathing. Mere told me that tears were streaming down his face, and your poor mommy was desperate to know what was happening. The doctors quickly cut the cord, took it from around your neck, and whisked you from the room. All held their breath collectively as they waited for you to breathe for the first time.
Nothing is more comforting than taking a deep breath of fresh air after you’ve momentarily lost it. Sometimes our breath is taken away; sometimes we suffer from asthma or some other condition that keeps us from breathing. Your breath wasn’t taken away, but your first breath was delayed. I suffered from asthma after being exposed to black mold, so I understand the fear that comes from not being able to breathe. It is a feeling of utter helplessness and more frightening than anything I have ever experienced. I know what your daddy felt when he realized you couldn’t breathe was far worse and cannot imagine what must have been going through his heart and mommy’s.
God feels the same pain when we don’t accept His Holy Spirit. It breaks His heart to see us without His love and gasping in vain for something to fill the emptiness. I thank God for your first breath, and I thank Him for every breath you have taken since. Each time I hold you, I take in a deep breath of God’s love, smile, and thank Him.
God is love, and the Holy Spirit is God’s breath. Christ gives His Spirit to comfort us while He is with God. Christ promises He will never leave us; He, the Holy Spirit, and God are One. The Holy Spirit lives within us and fills us with the most beautiful sense of peace imaginable. We are one with God and with one another when we love as He loves. The peace, love, and joy He gives cannot be described, but it can be felt. It’s a difficult concept for expert theologians to tackle sweet Mylah, so just remember breath gives life, and God’s breath makes life worth living. The Holy Spirit gives a new way of breathing and living. A life, as Pastor John would say, worth living forever:)
God gives me beautiful images as He teaches because He knows I’m a visual learner. I hope to pass those lessons along to you, your sister, and others. The image this morning was the most amazing one yet. I say that each time God gives an image, and I pray I never get accustomed to them or take them for granted.
At two this morning, God woke me with a simple illustration. I put a Breathe Right strip on my nose before going to bed because the workout earlier was a tough one that left me a winded and wheezy. I keep the strips and Benedryl handy just in case I have trouble breathing. I rarely use them and keep them mostly as a security blanket. I don’t like those sticky strips and end up taking them off during the night. When I woke this morning, I got rid of the strip and rolled over expecting to go right back to sleep. God had other plans.
The image was Christ breathing God’s love into me and then bidding me to breathe deeply. As I took deep breaths, comfort surrounded me. Breathing is something I try not to take for granted. Each time I get wheezy, I panic and remember the mold that literally took my breath away. This image was about taking my breath away and replacing it with God’s sweet breath of love. As I lay there breathing deeply, I felt God’s presence in the most intimate way, as if we were sharing the same breath. As with all His images, I am frustrated in my attempts to describe what I don’t have words to describe.
The fruit of the Spirit is love was the message. That goes right along with the sweet lessons this week and reminds me of Galatians 5:22. God wasn’t finished and continued to bid me to get rid of my breath and breathe in His. The love of His Spirit gives joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control when we take our breath away, pray for the Spirit’s help, and breathe deeply. When I emptied my lungs and breathed deeply, something wonderful happened. Each breath became a prayer.
I’m lonely Lord, but I don’t want to be. Spirit, take away my loneliness. I inhaled deeply and felt the loneliness disappear as love filled the space.
I’m sad Lord, but I don’t want to be. Spirit, take away my sadness. I inhaled deeply and felt the sadness disappear as joy filled the space.
I’m frightened Lord, but I don’t want to be. Spirit, take away my fear. I inhaled deeply and felt the fear disappear as peace filled the space.
I don’t want to wait Lord, but I know I must. Spirit take away my impatience. I inhaled deeply and felt my impatience disappear as patience filled the space.
I’m angry Lord, but I don’t like the feeling. Spirit, take away my anger. I inhaled deeply and felt the anger disappear as kindness and goodness filled the space.
I don’t trust you Lord, and I know I should. Spirit, help me to trust completely. I inhaled deeply and felt my worry disappear as faithfulness filled the space.
I want to be in control Lord, but I know that I am not. Spirit, take away my need to control. I inhaled deeply and felt gentleness fill the space as I let go of my need to control.
I have feelings I should not have Lord, and I know they get in Your way. Spirit, help me to do the right thing. I inhaled deeply and felt my lack of control disappear as self-control filled the space. I knew I could obey in a new and beautiful way.
Each time I took my breath away, cleared space for His, and let the Holy Spirit fill that space, I felt a sense of intimacy with the Trinity that was better than anything I’ve felt before. Eugene Peterson calls it the Trinitarian dance. I have never been closer to God than at two this morning. I thank God for the early morning dance that took my breath away and filled me as I have never been filled before. I thank Him for bringing me to the place of breathlessness that allowed me to remember the panic of not being able to breathe. It helped me appreciate the sweet lesson and the beautiful image. We need to breathe deeply, and we need to pray deeply too. We need to pray as often as we breathe because prayer is more essential to life than breathing.
As I write this message, sweet precious Mylah, I humbly recall that you arrived in this world not breathing. I cannot type or think that without crying tears of gratitude to God for giving you that first sweet breath. That image will always remind me not to take love for granted. Enjoy each breath Mylah and never take a single one for granted. Take a deep breath of God’s love, know that you are loved, and love with all your heart. God does indeed promise to love you always, and so do I. Each time I hold you, I smile, thank God you are breathing, and take a deep breath of God’s precious love.
My Love Always, Gigi:)