Four years ago, I began an intensive jogging programme in an effort to improve my fitness and energy levels.
But instead of becoming fitter, I became increasingly short of breath. In a cruel irony, I discovered that exercise-induced asthma was a thing.
I thought I had put my childhood asthma behind me, but it now returned in waves of choking mucus that clogged my airways and prevented me from drawing a full breath.
As the asthma progressively tightened its grip, one night I found myself struggling more than usual to breathe and rushed to a 24-hour clinic where I was strapped to a nebuliser.
This brought only temporary relief. Following that, I could barely walk without having to rest after a short while, let alone jog.
After realising the problem wasn’t going away on its own, I saw an asthma specialist, bringing home an arsenal of pills and no fewer than two inhalers — a lurid orange one for routine doses and a blue one for flare-ups.
Two weeks of gasping half-breaths followed. I wasn’t getting any better despite faithfully taking every dose of medicine, and one night I could barely take in any air.
Jan, my wife, was deeply concerned. As we headed out the door to see a doctor, a thought struck me.
Unlike in the past, I hadn’t been able to cure my illness with medicine thus far. My illness had in fact worsened over my course of treatment – perhaps God had other ideas?
In desperation, we decided to cry out to God. Jan and I began to worship Him with music. As we sang, an odd thing happened.
I felt a denser — almost liquid — layer of air envelope me, in which I could breathe much more easily.
When we paused, I struggled to breathe again. When we resumed singing, the denser atmosphere returned and I could breathe well.
With the hands of the Healer
With the power of Your Spirit
You’re all we need
Eventually, my breathing eased even when we weren’t singing.
I put Bethel Music’s “Mention of Your Name” on repeat, listening to words that took on new meaning as they spoke of what God was doing right then.
With wonder-working power
Everything You breathe on
Coming back to life
From my miserable twilit half-life of strangled breaths, I was finally able to draw a full breath and take in a satisfying lungful of air for the first time in a month.
I felt like I was returning to life.
At the mention of Your Name
Every chain will break
I know everything will change
More than physical healing, I felt that to be a pivotal moment in my life. Four years later, I recognise that as a time when everything changed for me.
I had read in the Bible that God heals, and heard many speak of God’s healing, but this was a clear and dramatic demonstration of God’s healing power in my own life.
Just like Job in the Bible, I can say: “My ears had heard of you, but now my eyes have seen you.”
After a time, Jan and I took Holy Communion, and I remember feeling His presence with us at the table. Emmanuel – God with us – was our reality that night.
With the grace of the Saviour
With the heart of the Father
You’re all we need
I woke up the next day with what felt like a brand new pair of lungs.
Some difficulty breathing remained, but over the next few days, it completely vanished.
I was even able to resume my favourite walks in our lush nature reserves.
The song ends with the words: “You’re just a breath away.”
Ordinarily, I would have hardly paid attention to that particular phrase, but that night it took on new meaning for me.
Having struggled for breath and received it anew, I see every breath I breathe as a gift from God.
This article first appeared on Stories of Hope and is republished with permission.
- What are the simple or mundane things in your life that you might have taken for granted? Give thanks to the Lord for them!
- Do you believe that God can heal through both natural and supernatural means?
- What has your experience of worship been like? Have you ever experienced something amazing happen while worshipping God? Share your story with us at [email protected]!