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Signposts: Daily Devotions

Written by Renée Miller

Friday, April 23

Thus says the Lord God to these bones: I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live.
—Ezekiel 37:5

We can't even see it, and yet it gives us life. All the parts of our body, mind and emotions are nothing but dry dead bones until the breath of God animates them. Stop now for a few moments to pay attention to this wondrous breath.

Close your eyes and feel the movement of your stomach and chest as the breath is taken in and let out. Now move your fingers, turn your head to one side and then the other, open and close your eyes. 

Be aware that none of these things—the lift and fall of your chest, the movement of your fingers, the turn of your head, the fluttering of your eyes—would be possible without the breath that God has placed within you.

Now place your forefinger at the top of your lip and feel the warm moist air as you exhale breath. Notice how effortless and natural it is to breathe. Bask in this force of life coursing through you, for though you can't see it, you can feel it, and when you can no longer feel it, there will be no more life within you. Now just relax and breathe for a full 2 minutes.

We take our breath for granted, because it's silent and involuntary. There are no negative consequences to being inattentive to our breath. Whether we pay attention to it or not, we will continue to breathe. All day, all night—until our time on earth has come to an end.

But, if we do take a few moments each day to attend to our breathing, we will find ourselves becoming a little more fully alive, a little more grateful, a little more astonished at the wonder and grace of God. We just might find, in those moments of stillness, that we can let go of all that diminishes us and revel in the life-giving breath that flows out of God's love.

Gracious God, let my breath cause me to fully live.

These Signposts originally appeared on explorefaith in 2008.