Sometimes, I can read the Christmas story in the Bible, yet I don’t really take it all in. The beautiful story of God’s love, mercy, and goodness passes me by, and I can find myself distanced from the characters whom God chose to bring together that first Christmas so many years ago. I can almost be too sure of myself, feeling like I’ve already gone over every piece of Jesus’ entrance to our human world. And just when I think there couldn’t possibly be more to learn about the Christmas story which I have heard all of my life, God opens my eyes to see a fresh perspective!
I’ve always loved Christmas music, from traditional Christmas carols to Christmas classics and new favourites too. And this year, I felt like the Holy Spirit reminded me of a Christmas song I hadn’t heard in many years. Listening to Amy Grant’s Breath Of Heaven (Mary’s Song) again gave me chills in my soul, as I quietly reflected on this honest thought process of Mary leading up to her becoming the mother of Jesus.
I have traveled many moonless nights
Cold and weary with a babe inside
And I wonder what I’ve done
Holy father you have come
And chosen me now to carry your sonBreath Of Heaven, Verse 1
The song itself is beautiful and simplistic with its piano accompaniment, and it provides such a realistic image of Mary in awe of God choosing her yet overwhelmed with what that would look like. She questions if she’s the right woman for the job, what she has done to win God’s incredible favour, and ends with an obedient offering of all she has to be used for God’s glory.
I am waiting in a silent prayer
I am frightened by the load I bear
In a world as cold as stone
Must I walk this path alone?
Be with me now
Be with me nowBreath Of Heaven, Verse 2
Isn’t that so similar to us as people? We often pray for God to use us and then let fear overcome us when He actually does start to use us! I think that is the rich beauty in Mary’s story of obedience. She didn’t understand God’s plan in its entirety and there were many moments to feel unprepared, yet she saw her life as an offering to God the Father and was ready to give all of herself for His greater purpose. How I pray for us to offer ‘all that we are for the mercy of God’s plan.’
Do you wonder as you watch my face
If a wiser one should have had my place
But I offer all I am
For the mercy of your plan
Help me be strong
Help me be
Help meBreath Of Heaven, Verse 3
Praying to God for strength, Mary addresses the Holy Spirit as the Breath of Heaven and asks that God be near to her. She knows full well that she cannot give birth nor raise the Son of God in her own energy, strength, and wisdom. Mary knows she must have God’s supernatural wisdom, vision, and endurance. While contemplating the lyrics, the song hints of Mary’s attitude which mirrors that of Samuel when God spoke to him in the night (1 Samuel 3:10) and he replied, “Speak, for your servant is listening.”
Breath of heaven
Hold me together
Be forever near me
Breath of heaven
Breath of heaven
Lighten my darkness
Pour over me your holiness
For you are holy
Breath of heavenBreath Of Heaven, Chorus
I pray that whatever this Christmas looks like for you, that God would meet you exactly where you are at physically, emotionally, and spiritually. May your heart be filled with His love, hope, and peace even if circumstances are not what you would desire. Just like Mary, may we obediently give of ourselves for God’s greater plan and allow Him to walk with us through our challenging as well as victorious times. May the Breath Of Heaven fill us with strength beyond ourselves and help us to reach the potential that God sees in us.