Full Of Hot Air

January 26, 2021
Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Breathe On Me Breath Of God"1 (Lyrics)

For many years, I played a brass instrument. Originally, I played small instruments like the cornet and horns, but over the years, I "graduated" to playing the largest, called a bass or tuba.

Occasionally, I would hear comments that I could do so because I was full of hot air!

The sounds emanating from the bell of a brass instrument depend upon the quality of the air that enters through the mouthpiece. The sound of the air also varies according to the length of the tubing, and this can be altered by valves, except for trombones, which use a slide. I was never able to master the trombone, unlike one of my grandsons who became an expert trombonist.

I learned two life lessons.

Firstly, the flow of the hot air must not be blocked. Many years ago, a family from Europe who did not speak English moved to Toronto and commenced attending our church. The father asked to witness to his new friends by playing a cornet that he had brought with him.

As he blew hot air into his instrument, no recognizable sound came out of the bell. As he blew harder and harder, the only thing that happened was that he became redder and redder until he passed out.

Obviously, the tubing was blocked in some way. He was unable to communicate positively because of a blockage.

Although God created us to be beautiful, shiny instruments in His hands, all of us have sinned and fallen short of His glory. This blockage in our usefulness to Him must be dealt with by accepting His forgiveness for our sin through belief in Jesus as Saviour.

Psalm 51:10-12 – Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit. (KJV)

Secondly, every day, we take in information, and in turn, we constantly give it to others in various ways. Unfortunately, we are often bombarded by information that is not good. It is too easy to be overwhelmed by sights and sounds that are harmful and should never be shared.

I am always inspired by the words of a song written by Edwin Hatch in the 19th century.

    Breathe on me, Breath of God,
    Fill me with life anew,
    That I may love what thou dost love,
    And do what thou wouldst so.

    Breathe on me, Breath of God,
    Until my heart is pure,
    Until with Thee I will one will,
    To do and to endure.

    Breathe on me, Breath of God,
    Till I am wholly thine,
    Until this earthly part of me
    Glows with Thy fire divine.

    Breathe on me, Breath of God,
    So shall I never die,
    But live with Thee the perfect life
    Of Thine eternity.

I realize that my challenge is to live so that my "input" comes from God and my "output" reflects His love.

Prayer: Dear Father, help us to realize that we are instruments in Your hands. May we realize that it is vital that our lives are kept clean and that we ensure that what we give out comes from You. In the name of Jesus, we pray. Amen.

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About the author:

Vincent Walter <vwalter@bell.net>
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Another good one, Vince.


    A beautiful and meaningful analogy. Thank you.


    Love this hymn. Thank you for another wonderful devotional Vincent.


    Thanks for this timely message.
    The hymn expresses it so well and I enjoy singing it.


    Hello Vince,
    Thank you for writing today’s devotional.
    Blessings.


    Good morning Vincent, I like your input and output comment. I will remember those.
    Shalom.


    Thanks very much for your weekly inspiration!
    Blessings always.
    Hope you are keeping safe and well.


    Thanks for sharing this thought-provoking devotional with us…indeed let’s pray we aren’t just a bunch of hot air. But like a hot air balloon, may our witness soar as we give glory to God. Blessings.


    O Yay Vince! for this delightful, shared memory and its truth in our lives. I have always wanted to play these instruments! How great to see myself as an instrument in God’s hands. Well said.


    Very useful devotional, thank you.
    I love that song, “Breathe on me, Breath of God,” the words are so perfect!
    Reminds me of Augustine’s thought: “Love God and do what is pleasing.”


    Dear Vincent,
    I smiled at your story and remembered the frustrations that come from them sometimes. You are so correct about let the input be from God, and the output reflect his love. It was nice to read the lyrics by Edwin Hatch. The old songs were a sermon in themselves. Your work is appreciated.


    Dear Vincent,
    I love your title today!
    What a great comparison of us as an ‘instrument’ with a blockage (sin) in need of cleansing by accepting the Lord’s forgiveness!
    When you used the phrase input/output, I couldn’t help but think of a song our junior choir used to sing that started: “input output, what goes in is what comes out”.
    Thanks for the challenge to make sure the input comes from God and the output reflects His love.


    Just want to say thank you and tell you that I plan/want/WILL treasure this thing that you wrote and shared!!!
    The Holy Spirit must have known how much we needed this clear gentle pure wisdom from God. “Three In One We Adore You”
    Prayer for you:
    “Father, through Jesus I lift up to you this day your servant Vincent, thanking You for now using Him as Your instrument to share Your Gospel for all in this world who reads and prays via this PresbyCan prayer line. Amen”
    Please stay healthy, eat, and rest well, and laugh when it’s right! I’ve laughed a lot sometimes lately!


    Dear Vincent,
    I loved your analogy with the wind instruments. It is also nice to get to know a little more what you have achieved over the years. My son played a euphonium for a while in school. My husband played the French horn while in high school. I never played in the band in school but did play the piano and accordion for a while in my youth.
    It is amazing how you related the hot air that you need to blow into the instrument to the information we take in and give out. The blockages we have because of our sins that we must deal with in order to make pleasing sounds for God.
    Thank you for sharing from your knowledge and the beautiful song. As I pray with you that I can be a good instrument for God each and every day, may you be blessed with a day of hope and joy.


    Great story and application.

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