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The Giver of Breath

Photo copyright Emma Deiterle

Genesis 2:7
“And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.”

The greatest of all creatures is man himself, the marvelous machine—precise and efficient. The Lord is the giver of life and breath! The respiratory system has many distinctive designs, which shows God’s masterful creation of the human body. Breathing also illustrates our human vulnerability and complete dependence upon God. We would die if we held our breath over a long period of time, because we would be completely deprived of air. God’s gives us breath and He is the one that sustains us from moment to moment. How does it work?

God has perfectly designed us to breathe through our nose. Our nasal passages are much more than just a source of discomfort when cold and flu season comes around. Inside, you’re carrying around a personal air treatment system, cleverly designed to protect the delicate tissues of your lungs that transfer oxygen out of the air you breathe and into your body. Our nose is a purification system. God is so amazing!

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What does our nose do?
1. Filters the air, catching and trapping tiny particles, before they can get into your lungs.

2. Humidifies the air, adding moisture to keep your airways from drying out.

3. Warms the air to body temperature, before it reaches your lungs.

When you breathe through your nose, the air goes past your nostrils into an open area inside your head called the nasal cavity and sinuses, before heading down into your lungs through your windpipe.The whole system of airways is lined with a thin layer of sticky mucus that traps dust particles, bacteria, and other pollutants. Tiny hairs called cilia sweep mucus from your nasal cavity into the back of your throat where it can be swallowed and neutralized in your stomach. Mucus is constantly being produced (2-4 cups a day) and the cycle goes on. An intricate network of blood vessels takes care of the heating and humidifying work. Folds of tissue, called turbinates, inside your nasal cavity provide a huge surface area of blood vessels that warm the air to body temperature and add moisture within seconds. This is a marvelous system. It’s always working with full efficiency. Jesus has made everything perfect!

Did God design us to breath through our mouths?
When we breath through our mouth, because our nose is congested, the air bypasses much of the bodies natural air filtration system. This allows germs, allergens, and other pollutants to get inside our lungs, where they can damage delicate tissue. This truly shows that God designed us perfectly and that we weren’t supposed breathe through our mouth, but through our nose!

On a cold and frosty December morning, my family and I walked out of our hotel. We were in Virginia on a road trip doing some hiking in God’s creation. That morning we enjoyed seeing our breath turn into vapor. My brother and I chuckled at the steamy clouds we could create. As I thought about that moment, I realized something— our breath, which is usually invisible could be seen in the cold air. It made me think about the source of our breath and life—the Lord, our Creator. For He who formed Adam out of the dust of the ground, giving him the breath of life also gives life to us and to every living creature (Gen. 2:7). All things come from Him even our very breath, which we inhale and exhale without even thinking about it. Let us acknowledge the One who created us and be thankful that we are fearfully and wonderfully made in His likeness.

Let us acknowledge how great is our Lord who gives us breath!! Breath is used in the Bible as a powerful symbol of the life-giving presence of God. Like God Himself, the air we breathe is invisible, odorless and tasteless—it cannot be recognized at all unless it moves. It is a reservoir of enormous power. Air is invisible, yet completely necessary for our life, and we are quickly dead without it. One of the reasons God created the air—and respiration—was to show us that without Him we would not be living. O how great our need is for the Lord!

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God is our oxygen. We can’t see Him, but we need Him in order to survive. We know that He is alive and living inside of us. He knows how many days are ahead of us and we know that He is our life source! We need to recognize, as Christians, that the very breath of life is a great gift from God. Job 33:4 says, “The Spirit of God has made me, And the breath of the Almighty gives me life.” Let us join with the psalmist in praising God! Psalm 150:6 declares, “Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.”

Written by Emma Dieterle

Emma Dieterle is a home-educated student and resides in South Florida. She loves to spend her time hiking in God’s creation, teaching the Bible, reading, writing, and using her voice to worship the Lord! Emma's passion is also to capture God's glorious creation through photography, which she posts at her website:

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