So I decided to open up my junk email, the email I use for all my shopping and information websites, and I start doing what anybody would do in that state of mind: clean my inbox. (Hey…it was a win in the moment because I didn’t go eat something.) Not sure why I decided to pop open the random email titled “Breathe – Out Now!" But I opened it. The email was announcing the release of a new single called “Breathe” and it was on the album being released by Maverick City called Jubilee: Juneteenth Edition. I knew immediately I had to hear this song. “Jubilee” is the word the Lord gave me for 2021. Juneteenth (other than being a very important day in American history) is an important day in my own personal history: the day my Dad took his last breath in 2018.
I clicked on the link and it wouldn’t work. I had to subscribe to something, and although I was sure of the presence of the Lord, I was not about to subscribe to anything! I began to google it. And as I googled, I found a lot of stories on Juneteenth. I knew about the day, but I never knew, until that moment, that the day was originally known as “Jubilee Day.” As the tears of knowing began to well up in my eyes, I found the link to the song and began to listen to the words that would consume me. This was no coincidence. This was a visitation.
They sang about being tired and weary. Being frustrated and waiting for better days ahead. They encouraged not to hold your breath…but instead release the heavy burden and breathe. They reminded us we were given the miracle of breath, there is power in our breathing, and that we were given breath so we could praise the Lord. They sang and repeated “I can feel my lungs taking air again…I can feel my strength coming back again.”
The song was a proclamation. And as I listened, I could feel God’s presence and His supernatural breath in my lungs. And as I write this, I’m taken back to January 2020.
I was getting ready to drive into our “Legacy Nights” at church, a week-long series of services where we pressed into God’s presence and power, and prayed for revival. I remember one day while I was getting ready, I was praying for the evening, asking God what He had for us. Asking Him what I should pray if called upon during the huddle.
He reminded me of what He taught me about always “kissing Him goodnight.” He reminded me of the word I heard in 2016 at Azusa now:
He showed me that to be revived, one must usually come close to passing out, or dying. I started thinking about CPR. I started thinking about the steps that I once learned about CPR. I felt like God was unpacking the steps that needed to happen for revival to come about in the church.
The first thing you learn to do before giving CPR is to point to someone and say, “Call 911.” When someone loses their breath, chaos can ensue. Not everyone will jump in, but some have been called to not only jump in, but to lead, and engage others. Although the actual act of CPR happens between two people, there are many others involved.
The second thing you learn to do is to listen. Listen for breathing. Can you hear signs of life? Is there something blocking the airways? To do this, you must sit still and not be distracted by the chaos that may be going on around you. You must not succumb to the fear and anxiety in the room. You must focus on the one that has been put in front of you in that moment, and lean in close.
The third thing you learn is to do is to breathe, mouth-to-mouth. You literally kiss the person who has lost their breath. The most intimate thing that one person can do with another.
The forth thing you do is blow breath into the one who has lost their breath. You essentially are hoping to impart life into the person.
Lastly, you pump the chest to activate the heart. To activate the very organ that will keep life going once you are no longer there to do so.
Revival can’t happen without reconciliation. It can’t happen if we don’t involve others, listen closely, get intimate, breathe life and activate the spirit. It is truly a miracle that we get to breathe.
I will never know why the CPR that was administered on my Dad the morning of June 19, 2018 didn’t work. I may never understand why 2020 became the year that so many had their breath taken away. It may never make sense that so many people had to hold their breath this long for Juneteenth to become a federal holiday. What I do know is, when you look at the mechanics of breathing, how fast it can be taken away, and how fast it can be given back…it is truly a miracle.
So although I have felt a bit weary, I am choosing to believe that revival is here. I am thankful for the divine interventions of a word from the Lord in a beautifully timed worship song. My Heavenly Father knows exactly what I need, and is leaning in close to make sure I remember to prophesy to the breath...I can feel my strength, coming back again!