In His hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind (Job 12:10 NIV).
Friend to Friend
If you’ve ever experienced getting the breath knocked out of you, then you never forget the feeling. Mine was in the second grade. I tapped on the shoulder of the boy in front of me to let him know the bus line was moving. Only he didn’t care. When panic seized, and I thought we would be left behind, I tapped on his shoulder once more. He chose that moment to turn around and punch me in the gut. The wind left my lungs, and I fell to the floor, unable to make even a whisper. Needless to say, I missed the bus, and he spent lunch and recess with the principal for the week.
The next time I got the wind knocked out of me wasn’t due to a physical blow but because of emotional force. The doctor stole my breath when she issued my daughter’s terminal diagnosis. Perhaps you’ve been there.
Life can hit you hard. So hard the breath you often take for granted is suddenly gone, and you’re left gasping. This feeling reminds me of a Bible story about a man we know as Job.
His life started great, in fact, the greatest!
“In the land of Uz there lived a man whose name was Job. This man was blameless and upright; he feared God and shunned evil. He had seven sons and three daughters, and he owned seven thousand sheep, three thousand camels, five hundred yoke of oxen and five hundred donkeys, and had a large number of servants. He was the greatest man among all the people of the East” (Job 1:1-3 NIV).
Can you get any better than “the greatest?” But this God-fearing man was hated by Satan for his righteous ways, and with the Lord’s hedge of protection removed, Job lost everyone in his life and everything he owned. All in a single day. Job must have felt gut-punched, wordless, and, yes, breathless. Why did this happen? It seemed that God allowed the enemy to suck the life right out of Job.
Job certainly felt the effects of Satan’s blow, but he ultimately chose to align his heart with the truth. Could he dare to think that his knowledge surpassed that of his Creator? So he stopped asking God why and instead surrendered to the One who breathed life into his soul. Every breath is a gift from the Father. As long as oxygen filled his lungs, life had purpose and meaning. He could trust the One who inhaled for him, exhaled over him, and breathed through him.
And so can we.
I love what Job said about his trials at the end. “My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you” (Job 42:5 NIV). What a gift.
Jesus, today appears gigantic, and my heart is suffocating with the weight of the world. Right now, I can’t think past the hour, much less the entire day. This moment alone threatens to smother, and I need Your love to fill me. As life transcends from You, may my every breath rely on Your holy power to inhale for me, to exhale over me, and to breathe through me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Now It’s Your Turn
When have you felt that you needed God to breathe for you? Share in the comments!
More from the Girlfriends
If you could use more prayers to help you breathe a little easier, you’ll enjoy Rachel’s Beautiful 31 Days of Prayers for the Heart prayer cards. “These cards are spot on when I can’t find the words.”– Savannah
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