By the word of the LORD the heavens were made, their starry host by the breath of his mouth. Psalm 33:6
Fifth grade was a year for the books. The tenth year of my life contained several monumental shifts moving my social status from average big toothed ten year old to average big toothed ten year old feeling good about herself. Throughout that year, several important situations moved in my favor beginning with the class newborn.
For weeks the class had watched an egg be warmed in an incubator anxiously awaiting the first crack in its shell. The little yellow chick made a spectacular entrance into the world. Time stood still as our teacher put her hand in the bowl of names, pulling a single piece of paper with one name. Each student desperately wanted to hear their name and take the chick home. It was my name she called out once again. Oh that glorious day.
The last movement in my social status that year happened with the purchase of a wooden recorder. While everyone else sat in music class with a black plastic recorder, I sat with my beautiful wooden recorder looking like I had won an even higher-stakes lottery. For many of us, a plastic recorder was the first musical instrument encountered back in elementary school. To this day, I can still play a riveting rendition of “Hot Cross Buns.” That little woodwind instrument was my favorite part of the day. The mesmerizing tones that squeaked out as I placed my fingers over different holes captured my imagination. I was instantly transformed into the world’s best recorder musician. I practiced and practiced until I could play a record-worthy performance of several fan-favorites.
Playing the recorder was all about breath control. It didn't take long to learn to control my breath, otherwise what was meant to be pleasant turned sour to the ear. The use of breath in instruments is, by design, the means by which sound is made. With every invisible, immaterial, movement of air, sound is produced. Air movement comes in less tantalizing, but more subtle ways, too. By breath or breeze or a sigh, and sometimes in more violent ways as in a storm of winds and surges of destruction.
The Hebrew word “ruach” directly translates to mean breath, spirit, and wind and is used in the Bible to describe the Spirit of God. For the most part, these meanings are interchangeable, starting with the first time we read the word “ruach” in Genesis 1:2. The Ruach is hovering over the waters. The Spirit of God is moving over what is going to be a mesmerizing display of beauty. As creation unfolds and takes form, God’s creative power is shown each time His mouth speaks words.
By the word of the LORD the heavens were made, their starry host by the rauch of his mouth. Psalm 33:6
God’s breath, by design, conveys His presence. Have you ever heard someone’s breath? Or heard their voice? You know they are present and close to you. God breathes on us. He comes invisibly near humans and speaks to us. He communicates with His beloved children. This is the Ruach, the Spirit of God. God’s presence, or ruach, is God himself. Just like your spirit is you, God’s Ruach is God. God, by design, surrounds us with His Ruach.
Spirit of God, we thank You for moving over and in our lives creating a mesmerizing display of beauty. Teach us to respond to God’s breath and touch of His hand.