Today is stormy. The howling wind is dramatic, and either invigorating or scary depending on your circumstances and your personality.
In Scripture the Greek word “pneuma” does a lot of multitasking. It can mean wind, or breath, or spirit; or Spirit. It can refer to our physical life, or to our spiritual life. It can denote the Lord’s activity in judging evil or his work of inspiring truth.
Some days I need his breath to resuscitate me, and on other days I badly need to be buffeted by the gale of his presence.
But above all I want to know – like Elijah – the ‘sound of soft breathing’ (1 Kings 19:12); his breathing. Because to sense this – above the noise of storms, earthquakes & fires – requires that I stand very, very close. And stay silent for a while.
Both of which I find hard to do.
But that is the place (as Elijah learned) where our perspective is restored, and our calling is clarified.
So “Breath on me, breath of God”. Help me to recognise, Holy Pneuma, when I am truly ‘short of breath’ and to come panting to you, to wait, to listen, to pause, until I am still enough to hear the sound of your soft breathing. And as I draw a deep breath, refill me. Again.