Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being. Genesis 2:7

Then he said to me, “Prophesy to the breath; prophesy, son of man, and say to it, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Come, breath, from the four winds and breathe into these slain, that they may live.’” Ezekiel 37:9

When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them. Acts 2:1-4

These three scriptures remind us that our first breath and next breath are a gift from God. There is nothing we have done to initiate our first breath and nothing we can do to generate our next. The account in Acts 2 further reminds us we can do nothing to initiate or replicate God’s gift of the Holy Spirit who fills and enables us to do His work.

Please observe some important features of what we read in Acts 2. First, the filling of the Holy Spirit Is a Gift from God, not something Jesus’ disciples worked all night to achieve. Second, the Holy Spirit is given as all of them are gathered in one place. The Community of Faith received this Gift together, suggesting the Gift of the Holy Spirit is not meant for individual activity alone. You’ve got friends.

What a relief…what a breath of fresh air! These insights can relieve us of the anxiety of doing everything in our own strength.

It seems every day has some kind of trouble. (Wait, didn’t Jesus say something like that?) You may have already started on the anxiety project of the day, or at least been tempted to start one. Take a minute to re-read the scriptures above and breathe in His Gift of perfect peace.

By Kathleen Petersen

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