She was multi tasking, using her car time to engage in some praise and worship. The song took her to a different place spiritually. She was riding along a busy road, slowing and then stoping. Then it hit, hit her so suddenly that she thought God had taken her breath away while she was praising God. A few moments later she discovered that someone had rear ended her car. It was the sudden jolt of the car that took her breath away.
As she told me this story, I listened and chuckled, but then my chuckle became wonder when I thought, how come I never suspect God of taking my breath away?
My wonder led me to Scripture. Was there ever a time in Scripture when someone’s encounter with God left them breathless?
Moses, when he happened upon a burning bush that was not consumed and then the voice of God; or when he and God played on a mountain side. Did either of those encounters leave Moses breathless?
David, when he was chosen to be Israel’s king or when Nathan approached David about his sin.
How about Zacheaus, when Jesus called out to him, we’re are told he scampered down the tree. When he realized who Jesus was and what he had to offered, was he left breathless?
I have to admit while listening to my friend describe her experience, I was envious.
Oh, there have been times when I heard the voice of God. There have been times when I felt as though I was wrapped securely in the arms of God. I have never had the experience of being so overwhelmed in God’s presence that my breath was taken away.
After spending some time reflecting, I was led to the first ten verses of 2 Corinthians 12. It is certainly confusing how he communicates this unique experience. Yet, I am left with the impression that Paul was left breathless. When Paul was confronted with God I think he must have been flabbergast, overwhelmed and astonished! If you take time to read the account today, he is retelling the event some fourteen years after it happened, you sense that he has to be reminded to take a breath, to take a brown bag and breath deeply. That begs the question.
Is a breathless experience possible or even necessary in the life of a believer?
First, I would say yes, a breathless experience is necessary. Realizing who Paul was and what he had done in the past simply left Paul feeling unworthy of an intimate relationship with the living God. And the fact that God would approach Paul and initiate such a relationship simply left him breathless! So the first step in a breathless encounter with God is realizing our own unworthiness and God’s passionate love for us.
The second step it seems would be to live with an eager expectant wonder. We worship and are in relationship with the creator God. Nothing, absolutely nothing is beyond Him. he has been known to raise the dead just to prove His love. There is nothing He would not do to show us how He thinks of us.
I don’t know about you, but I think I need to live with a sense of expectation and wonder, at how the God that created all that there is, would stop at nothing to show me His love. Excuse me but I just lost my breath.