There are some things in this life that are just too beautiful, too incredible, too wonderful that we say: “it takes my breath away”. What are some of those things for you?
For me, here are a few things that take my breath away.
- The first look at my son and daughter.
The incredible reality that all their “pieces” were present and in the right place. The reality that these little babies were born from me, that their lives were, at least in the beginning, in my hands.
“Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb a reward.”
These two little babies took my breath away, and I cried out to the Lord God in thanksgiving for their little lives, and in prayer for their future. They took my breath away.
Now, when I see them as adults with families of their own, I am so blessed. This, too, takes my breath away.
- The beauty of the sunset.
The day has been spent in doing many tasks, things that took time and energy, things that were encouraging and sometimes things that were incredibly hard. But at the end of the day, I can look at the sunset and know that God is in control.
The Levites were commanded to recognize that God alone was responsible for providing the day to them. David’s instructions included the following:
“And they were to stand every morning, thanking and praising the LORD, and likewise at evening,”
1 Chronicles 23:30
God’s watchful care results in praise to Him. This, too, takes my breath away!
- Places of worship, such as Canterbury Cathedral in Canterbury, England.
When we visited Canterbury Cathedral, the sign in the entrance way to the church and grounds advised that worship services were held in the Cathedral every day for over 1,400 years. St. Augustine came to England in 597 A.D. as a missionary and he ultimately became the first Archbishop of Canterbury. The building was magnificent; the stained-glass windows were beautiful; the soaring vaulted ceiling dwarfed the people inside. While all that is true, what I found most humbling was the reality that God had met with the people worshiping in this place for more than 1,400 years.
“For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.“
I was overwhelmed. This took my breath away!
- God’s Word.
When reading God’s Word, often there are passages that speak to me and bring joy to my heart. His word brings a warmth to my soul, and its truths take my breath away.
Recently, we were studying Psalm 32 where David speaks of his relationship with God and of the damaging effect of his sin toward God.
“A Maskil of David. Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man against whom the LORD counts no iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit.”
Blessed, happy, is the one who, after coming to God in confession and repentance, is forgiven.
“For when I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer. Selah”
David understood the heavy weight of unconfessed sin. His description is not only poetic, it is personal and profound.
“I acknowledged my sin to you, and I did not cover my iniquity; I said, ‘I will confess my transgressions to the LORD,’ and you forgave the iniquity of my sin. Selah”
David confessed his sin. He did not try to hide it from God; he understood that God already knew of his sin and what he had to do was to confess and seek forgiveness. David also expressed that God’s forgiveness meant that his sin was covered and would not be counted against him by God any longer.
“By steadfast love and faithfulness iniquity is atoned for, and by the fear of the LORD one turns away from evil.”
In our age, that of the New Testament covenant, we understand that through Jesus Christ’s atoning work on the cross, our sin is not only covered but that sin debt is erased, and our account is clean. Across our ledger page is written the words “Paid in full and covered by Christ’s righteousness.”
“You are a hiding place for me; you preserve me from trouble; you surround me with shouts of deliverance. Selah”
After David confessed and received forgiveness from his sin, he was secure in God and described this security in verse 7. The forgiven person is surrounded “with shouts of deliverance.” When we see pictures of people who were delivered from prison camps or from dangerous situations, such as a mine cave in, the rescued person is not shouting. They are too stunned, and sometimes too weak from the ordeal, to do much of anything. The rescuers are the ones who are shouting of deliverance and joy.
Have you ever thought about heaven surrounding you with shouts of deliverance when you have come to God seeking forgiveness from your sin?
“Many are the sorrows of the wicked, but steadfast love surrounds the one who trusts in the LORD. Be glad in the LORD, and rejoice, O righteous, and shout for joy, all you upright in heart!”
The conclusion of the psalm is resounding joy, gladness, shouting for joy.
This, too, takes my breath away!
God’s love, His provision of the plan of salvation for you, His Son dying on the cross for our sin, not His. These are all truths that take my breath away. Why would God, the Almighty Creator, the Holy God who cannot look upon sin, the Righteous Judge of all, why would this God call me to Himself and adopt me as a child of His, clothing me with His Son’s righteousness and taking my filthy rags away.
Nothing that I have done or ever could do would merit such grace and mercy. I am a sinner saved by grace. This reality is overwhelming. This takes my breath away!
What about you?
What takes your breath away?
Father, I pray that these words would resonate with their readers and that You would be glorified. I pray that I would praise You for Your wonderous love and kindness, Your grace and mercy, Your goodness and righteousness that has covered my sin and canceled my debt, restoring my relationship with You through Your Son, my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.