YHWH: His Breath in Our Lungs

Chris Lacy
2 min readApr 8, 2023

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Photo Credit: Newman United Methodist Church

There was a moment when Moses had the nerve to ask God what His name was.

God was gracious enough to answer, and the name He gave in the original Hebrew was “YHWH.”

Over time we’ve added an “a” and an “e” to get Yahweh because we prefer vowels.

Scholars and rabbis say the letters “YHWH” represent breathing sounds or aspirated consonants. When pronounced without vowels, it sounds like breathing: YH (inhale), WH (exhale).

A baby’s first cry, their first breath, speaks the name of God.

A deep sigh, groan, or gasp calls His name, too heavy for mere words.

Even atheists speak His name, unaware that the breath in their lungs acknowledges God.

Likewise, a person leaves this earth with their last breath when God’s name no longer fills their lungs.

When we can’t utter anything else, is our cry calling out His name?

Being alive means we speak His name often.

Is it heard the loudest when we’re the quietest?

In sadness, we breathe heavy sighs.

In joy, our lungs feel like they will burst.

In fear, we hold our breath and must breathe slow to help us calm down.

When we’re about to do something hard, we take a deep breath to find our courage.

Breathing gives Him praise, even in the most challenging moments!

This universal truth is beautiful and should fill us up. God chose to give Himself a name that we can’t help but speak every moment we’re alive.

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Chris Lacy

I aim to write stories that move you today and stay with you forever.