Breathe on Us

Breathe on Us

A few years ago, my family as a whole started to watch a reality TV show called Dual Survival.

Dual Survival is a show that puts two well trained survivalist in a situation that would require them to use whatever they have and the environment around them to survive in the wilderness.

One survivalist is Dave Canterbury and he’s an ex- military no-nonsense survivor. The other, Cody Lundin is an extreme survival instructor who hasn’t worn sneakers or shoes for over 20 years.

The two differing attitudes can make for some hilarious moments as they talk to the camera describing what they are doing and how they are feeling. In the one episode, I saw something that I never knew could happen. Cody walked with a small ember over a long distance.

They were placed in a forest environment with snow all around them. Cody was in charge of building a fire and used the last of the matches and dry kindle he had to get a really nice fire going.

Trouble is that there wasn’t any food around. He suspected that there were small animals he could hunt, but they were more than a few hundred feet away. There wasn’t any more matches or kindle, so he had to choose between staying warm and hungry, or the cold and food.

Cody knew that food was the priority, but he still needed fire for warmth and for cooking his catch. Cody turns to the camera and tells us what he has planned to do: He is going to take a small ember and carry it to the next area.

He searches for some dry kindle and finds what look like a collection of hair (but it isn’t) and reaches carefully into the fire and pulls out a pea size ember with his calloused fingers. Thefire was glowing red inside the pea-sized wood, but there were no flames.

Cody then explained that if he carefully walked the ember, protecting it from wind and breathing on it gently, he could then use it to light another fire. And that is what he did, he walked and talked us through the gentle walking and light breathing that would keep the ember alive until he reached an area that would improve his chances of survival.

The Bible tells us that Jesus talked to us about how he carries and cares for His children.

In Matthew 12:15-16, Jesus has left the Synagogue where he healed a man on the Sabbath and then confronted the religious sect called the Pharisees. Many people followed him as he left and He healed them all. The author, the Apostle Matthew, tells us why He healed them all in a quote from the prophet Isaiah 42:1-3:

“Behold, my servant whom I have chosen,
my beloved with whom my soul is well pleased.

I will put my Spirit upon him,
and he will proclaim justice to the Gentiles.

He will not quarrel or cry aloud,
nor will anyone hear his voice in the streets;

a bruised reed he will not break,
and a smoldering wick he will not quench,
until he brings justice to victory;

and in his name the Gentiles will hope.”

Jesus was fulfilling the words that were spoken about Him before He was even born. This Old Testament quote is one that brings direction and hope to those who believe in Jesus and trust in Him to save them in this life and the one to come.

I felt a deeper understanding to Isaiah 42:3, while watching Cody care for his ember in Dual Survival:

a bruised reed he will not break,
and a smoldering wick he will not quench,
until he brings justice to victory;

The image is of a broken piece of tall grass, snapped in half and dangling, but not entirely disconnected from the reed. The next image is of a candle’s burning thread, a wick, which is near going out, but not just yet.

I could imagine Jesus, like Cody, caring for my life, like that ember or smoldering wick. He was carrying me way before I made a decision to follow Him. He kept breathing soft breaths on me, keeping a faint fire burning until He could take me to His Father.

Jesus gently breathes on us and then, when the time is right, He gives us faith and the power of the Holy Spirit to become a fire in our hearts. It is fitting that the Holy Spirit fell on the disciples as tongues of fire. For three and a half years, Jesus breathed on his disciples lives and now they were on fire (Acts 2:3).

Do you feel like your fire has gone out?

Do you think that you’ve gone to far from God and He won’t take you back?

If you are having these thoughts, then there is still an ember that Jesus is gently blowing on.

Fan the ember into a flame by repenting and turning to God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength. You haven’t gone where God cannot reach you. You are never too far from God that He will not take you back. He has made a promise that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved (Romans 10:13).

Call upon Him today, let Him know your heart and read the Bible.


Photo by Pablo Martinez on Unsplash

About The Author

Jesse Velez

Although Jesse Velez will forever carry the essence of a Native New Yorker, he currently calls the sun-soaked city of Miami, Florida, his home. Celebrating a marriage of 31+ years to Eusebia, he proudly embraces his role as the father of five grown children. Jesse has cultivated a profound grasp of the Bible over the span of 40+ years, dedicated to following and serving Jesus while engaging in extensive reading and in-depth study of the scriptures.