"Then the Lord God formed man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living being" (Gen. 2:7).
When God first created earth and earth's inhabitants, He built intimacy in. Look how the Supreme God, Almighty God, Creator of heaven and earth God took such great care in creating one man. One human being from whom all others—billions and billions and billions of others—would come. Starting small is God's way.
I realized something recently that I had not seen quite so clearly before. It jumped out and surprised me. I was considering that the power of God's Word that created the universe is as powerful now as it was in the beginning. When God says "Let there be," molecules accumulate into matter, atoms bond together into mass, cell fuses to cell and things which were not, now exist. When the breath of His mouth rushes out to vocalize His Word, even the tiniest neutrino is ordered into lockstep with His command.
Then I started thinking about His breath. It takes breath to form a word. Have you ever been with someone whose breathing is compromised? They can't speak easily. Breath is the transporter of words and without breath, words are imprisoned inside the mind and have no outlet. God's breath is the container of His Word.
Then I started thinking about how He breathed the breath of life into the human He created on the sixth day—the pinnacle of His creation. The same breath that carried the word of creation in it. That led me to consider—and here is the picture that took me by surprise—that He created the human differently than the way He created everything else.
Everything else was formed by His Word, but the human was formed by His hands.
As I observed with my imagination how God shaped the human—formed him, molded and sculpted him—I was awed by the intimacy of touch that was being acted out. How God left His fingerprints and His DNA all over the human. How He took the time to tenderly create this self-expression with His own hands. Down in the dirt, one with the clay from which He sculpted. He made the human from the dust of the earth He had just created. Earthy. He had all the mechanisms necessary for living in earth's atmosphere, but he had no life.
Then—and now the intimacy is stunning—then God breathes. He leans over this earthy man, covers the human's mouth with His own and breathes. The man formed of earth is filled with the life of the heaven. Heaven and earth meet, and life as God intended appears. What was not, now had become.
When God breathed, He breathed into the human. Not around him or over him. He breathed the Word into him. With the Fall, the man who started out earthy—all earth—was once again earthy.
When Jesus, the last Adam, appeared in earth's environment, once again heaven and earth met. When the day came for the Word to dwell in mankind again, He breathed (John 20: 22).
He Still Breathes
All of His careful attention and His laser focus on one person. It is still His way. He breathes into you as He creates and recreates you. Forms you with His own hands. The Potter's hands are shaping you.
You are His workmanship—His self-expression. The reason that He gives you such meticulous attention, assembling and arranging the details of your life, is because you are a beginning. From you He will produce fruit that will last, and will produce more fruit, and more fruit until the final day.
Where is He working and shaping your life right now? The little nudges, the longing for something more, the hunger for something deeper. You are clay in His hands. Let Him shape His vessel.
Jennifer Kennedy Dean is an author, speaker, conference leader and executive director of the Praying Life Foundation. You may visit her online at prayinglife.org.
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