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.

Photo courtesy of Joshua.

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.

You’re here
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.

You’re here
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.

You’re here
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.

Photo courtesy of Joshua.

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. 

  1. What are the simple or mundane things in your life that you might have taken for granted? Give thanks to the Lord for them!
  2. Do you believe that God can heal through both natural and supernatural means?
  3. 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]