Breath of Gratitude

For Jesus and the culture

Dear Reader, 

This month is going to be all about feel-good vibes. We’re gonna dive deep into how to live out gratitude. I may talk about some stories in the Bible, some biblical affirmations to help you speak truth to the darkness, or just talk about my birthday! That’s right May has my born day. I was born on a Saturday during the Sabbath, so it’s only natural that I spend my birth month giving thanks for what God has done and talking about rest and all that is good.

As we breathe

 As you probably know, breath is something that we spend a lot of time talking about in church, and singing songs about in worship. Breath is often mentioned in scripture and it is a medical phenomenon that we still really don’t know a lot about in 2022. Breath is automatic, we don’t know what starts it or finishes it and just know that when it stops we need to make it to the ER ASAP. 

In the bible, there are names for God based on the concept of breath. He is the Breath of Life. It is also believed that the name YHWH actually comes from the sound made when breathing. It is important to note that an automatic function that we have a lot of mystery about is attributed to God in such a deep way.  That God is the start and finish of every breath. 

Breathing In Gratitude

There are a few stories in the bible where I think to myself “ man what a crazy time to be grateful.” They come in the story of Jonah, Job, and Daniel. 

Let’s start with Jonah. Jonah was in the belly of a whale after being swallowed up for his disobedience to God’s call/ to rescue him from drowning.  In Jonah 2: 9, Jonah is within the belly of the whale when he says “But I with the voice of thanksgiving will sacrifice to you;

what I have vowed I will pay. Salvation belongs to the Lord!” I mean when you think about it one way, he had a reason to be grateful. He was alive. But the other half of the situation is he has no idea when and if he’s ever gonna leave the belly of the whale, or if he will leave alive after passing through the whale’s digestive track.  And then right after Jonah’s expression of heartfelt gratitude, he gets vomited out and onto dry land.  I mean what a crazy story.

Then there’s Job. He finds out all of his kids have gotten killed in one fell swoop while hanging out at their eldest siblings’ house and he thanks, God. He says naked I came into the world and naked I will go. It’s a crazy story. 

Then there’s Daniel who was told not only not to praise God, but to definitely not do it in the window or he will be put to death. The verse says in the ESV version “When Daniel knew that the document had been signed, he went to his house where he had windows in his upper chamber open toward Jerusalem. He got down on his knees three times a day and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as he had done previously.” Daniel went about his business with His God; he did not care. 

While we can pass off these stories as man, that’s crazy. The real lesson they were so cray .. is that they were so tight with God and their relationship was so deep that they could be grateful, anyway, and on any day. The reason gratitude needs to be likened to breathing is so that it could be automatic. It needs to be automatic like Daniel, who didn’t need to think about the regulation that just passed, he just did his routine. He just walked daily with God and thanked him thrice a day and wasn’t going to stop for anyone. 

What are the non-negotiables in your life? Do you not drink milk after brushing your teeth?  Do you not turn on social media before noon? Do you have any spiritual non-negotiables? Like I won’t leave the house without praying, or start my car without talking to God? Let’s think about inviting God and gratitude into our lives more often, so that we may be able to suck the marrow out of life and live in the sunlight.