Thou Breath from still eternity

1
Thou Breath from still eternity
  Breathe o’er my spirit’s barren land—
The pine tree and the myrtle tree
  Shall spring amid the desert sand;
And where Thy living water flows
  The waste shall blossom as the rose.
2
May I in will and deed and word
  Obey Thee as a little child;
And keep me in Thy love, my Lord,
  For ever holy, undefiled;
Within me teach, and strive, and pray,
  Lest I should choose my own wild way.
3
Thy Spirit, Stream by Thee, the Son,
  Is opened to us crystal pure,
Forth flowing from the heavenly throne
  To waiting hearts and spirits poor;
Athirst and weary do I sink
  Beside Thy waters, there to drink.
4
My spirit turns to Thee and clings,
  All else forsaking, unto Thee;
Forgetting all created things,
  Remembering only “God in me.”
Thy living Stream, Thy gracious Rain,
  None wait for these, and wait in vain.
10
James

United States

Like this song, new to me but the words came to me like penetrating into my soul. God bless the writers.


Gabriel Hsu

White Rock, BC, Canada

This hymn was written in German by Gerhard Tersteegen (1697-1769), a German reformed Christian writer and preacher. It was translated by Frances Bevan (1827-1909).

Stanza one tells us that God, the Great I Am Who I Am, as the Spirit, breathes into us to enliven us (“the Spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty has enlivened me” Job 33:4). Hallelujah! Our deadened spirit, once the barren land (desert sand) with no life and no fruit has been regenerated! Now, up springs the Pine tree and the Myrtle tree. (“In place of the thornbush, the fir tree will come up; in place of the brier, the myrtle tree will come up…. Isa. 55:13a. Some translate the fir as the pine, cypress, or juniper). The Pine tree grows by shooting upwards towards the heavens. The Fir tree never grows old, is an evergreen, signifying God in His freshness (“I am like a green fir tree” Hos. 14:8). The Myrtle tree is small, growing in the bottoms, signifying Israel in captivity. We are often so low down, in captivity, but Christ is riding on and standing among us, praying and interceding for us, to bring us out, and into the full enjoyment of Himself (cf. Zech. Ch. 1).

Christ, the smitten rock in Horeb (Exo. 17:6), the crucified One whose pierced side flowed out water for imparting life, overcoming death, and producing the church (John 19:34), is the fountain of life (Psa. 36:9a), the spring of the water of life (Rev. 21:6b). By continually enjoying Christ as the never-ending supply of living water, “the wilderness and the desert will be glad, and the desert will exult and blossom like the rose” (Isa. 35:1), “…for water will break forth in the wilderness, and streams in the desert” (Isa. 35:6b).

Tersteegen was one surely constituted with the Word, to be able to quote so much scripture in one little stanza. By singing this wonderful hymn, may we be encouraged to continually exercise our spirit to breathe in the Spirit, so that in the mingled spirit we may not only be in the good land, but also enjoy all the riches of this good land, Christ!


William Jeng

Irvine, CA, United States

We are dead in our flesh, but we are made alive through the spirit! How awesome it is that we as believers can breath God in as our only source.

"Thy living Stream, thy gracious Rain, none wait for these and wait in vain." God washes away our sins and transgressions whenever we open to Him. Wash and cleanse me right now Lord!


Elmer Molejon

Molave, Zamboanga Del Sur, Philippines

There is no other source that we can be satisfied. It is only the living spring that flows even in the desert land...and the water that I shall be given to him shall be rivers of living water, welling up into eternal life. Lord Jesus, we are weary and thirsty to come to You as the fountain of living water.


Igor Savinkin

Kaliningrad, Russia

This ever fresh hymn is what refreshes me and supplies with the Riches of our dear Lord Jesus. Also the comments that I have read made my spirit and my soul happy and whole in the Lord. Those saints' sharing and Scripture quotes have watered and nourished my being during my morning watch. Thank you for your sharing.

I love you Lord, and particularly for You being the fountain of living waters gushing up in us and for us. Lord may we never forsake You, may we always turn to You to drink of You.


Huyen Nguyen

Soc Trang, Vietnam

Amen! Isaiah 35:1, 6b-7a, "The wilderness and the desert will be glad; and the desert will exult and blossom like rose. For water will break forth in the wilderness, and streams in the desert. And the desert mirage will become a pool, and the thirsty ground, springs of waters."

John 7:37-38,"Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes into Me, as the Scripture said, out of his innermost being shall flow rivers of living water."

"Athirst and weary do I sink

Beside Thy waters, there to drink."


Nika

Manila, Philippines

My spirit turns to thee and clings

all else forsaking, unto thee

forgetting all created things

remembering only GOD IN ME!

Lord help us to forsake and forget everything but Thee and just remember GOD IN ME!


Steve Miller

Detroit, MI, United States

What a beautiful, soothing, encouraging tune, that fits so well the picturesque words of this hymn.


Jubilee

Round Lake, Illlinois, United States

Thank you for providing a sweet and comforting well for a weary and thirsty wonderer to drink. I am quite worn out by school's work so I turned to Hymnal.net for some refreshment. This song with its lyric and new tune has revived my soul and spirit.

"Yet those who wait on Jehovah shall renew their strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles; They will run and will not faint; They will walk and will not become weary." (Isaiah 40:31) If I may, I would like to share the footnote 1 of verse 31 that our dear Brother Lee had wrote.

" To wait on the eternal God means that we terminate ourselves,i.e., that we stop ourselves with our living, our doing, and our activity, and receive God in Christ as our life, our person, and our replacement. Such a waiting one will be renewed and strengthened to such an extent that he will mount up with wings like eagle. He will not onlly walk and run but also soar in the heavens, far above every earthly frustration...


sister

Portland, Oregon, United States

Thank You Lord that Your breath from still eternity breathe over our spirit's barren land. And that the pine tree and the myrtle tree shall spring amid the desert sand.

We love You Lord Jesus! And we want to grow more in grace with each passing moment. We want to be ever-fresh, ever-living, ever-loving, ever-abiding, and ever-eating You dear Lord.