Monday, May 19, 2014

Squashed Nostrils and the Breath of God



Mamie went for her well baby check today. For those who don't know, Mamie is my almost-five-months-old Shih Tzu puppy who spent the first part of her life masquerading as a gremlin. Her first hair cut revealed the true dog, transformed her into an even fiestier Mamie, and sent Maggie and me racing for a high spot. Mamie now appears to be in training for high-jump Doglympics. She hops all the time!

She had to have a few vaccinations today as well as a general check up. It's never good news when I go to pick up one of my doggie babies and hear that the vet wants to talk to me. Dr. Thomas had not-great news. Not surprising to me, who has listened to her nose-noise for months, Mamie needs nostril surgery. Tiny nostrils is a common problem in Shih Tzu's because of their "flattened facial structure".  In the vernacular, their nose holes are squashed together. 

Squashed nostrils might not seem like a problem, but here's a demonstration that might help. Hold both your nostrils almost completely together, keep your mouth closed, and try to breathe. It's horrid, and feels like you are suffocating. Now try doing that while you are running and hopping non-stop. Impossible. This little 5 1/2 pound puppy has been doing the impossible while fighting for every breath. Surgery is not far away. What worries me is how much energy she will have when she can breathe freely! Unstoppable!

The idea of breath and nostrils had me wondering what Scripture said, so I did a quick search. You might be surprised by the number of references to nostrils in scripture. There was one verse, though, that captured my attention. It's from Job. 

"For as long as life is in me, And the breath of God is in my nostrils, My lips certainly will not speak unjustly, Nor will my tongue mutter deceit." (Job 27:3, 4 NASB)

As long as there is life in him and the breath of God in his nostrils, Job will not lie, he tells his listeners. Imagine that!  The breath of God is in our nostrils! This idea comes from Genesis 2:7, which tells us that, after forming man, God breathed into his nostrils and gave life to the man. 

Selah. Pause and consider. 

Every time you take a breath in through your nostrils, you are inhaling the breath of God. 

Stop for a moment, close your eyes, and breathe. Take big inhalations through your nostrils and fill your lungs with the breath of God. Isn't that profound? Moving? Amazing?

Right now, you, dear ones, are filled with the breath of God. No tiny nostrils restrict your flow of air. You are filled with Him. 

Ponder that tonight.  

Ponder that, and let it change you.