Thou Breath from still eternity

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.
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.
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.
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.
Benjamin Lee

Cambridge, MA, United States

Lord, may my spirit turn and cling to Thee, forsaking all else unto Thee.

C. Taylor

Forth Worth, Texas, United States

Remembering only 'God in me'!

Lane Morgan

Austin, Texas, United States

Forgetting all created things, remembering only “God in me. ”

Lily C


Recently, I feel like I always choose my own wild way to do, to say whatever I want, it indeed is natural and wild, Lord, may I obey to Your tiny gentle voice in me always, that I won’t choose my own wild way.

Glen V

SJ, CA, United States

Oh! The river flows not in vain!


Pretoria, Gauteng, South Africa

Thank You Lord for breathing, springing, flowing, blossoming, keeping, teaching, striving, praying, streaming and living.

Within You I also obey, wait, drink, turn, forsake, forget and remember.


CA, United States

Lord, breathe on our spirit.


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!