It’s funny how things you take for granted become really important when they become labored or are missed altogether. Unfortunately, my husband and I both came down with coronavirus this week. We sort of expected the probability was high given that we just returned from an international trip to celebrate the renewal of vows for some dear friends. Even taking all the precautions recommended by the CDC such as wearing masks, being vaccinated and twice-boosted, and sanitizing our hands, we still contracted it. Compared to most, I would imagine that our symptoms of headache, body aches, coughing, fever, chills, and congestion were manageable. Of course, being married for 36 years has prepared us fairly well for seeing each other at our best..and our worst! If you ever doubted that part about “in sickness and in health” in the wedding vows, let me tell you, folks, it is for real!
The congestion has been the most nagging symptom for me. When I can’t breathe, I’m miserable because I can’t sleep because I can’t breathe. I have a headache because I can’t breathe. My mouth is dry because I’m trying to breathe through it since my nose isn’t working. It’s hard to eat because I need my mouth to breathe. When I was in the shower this morning with the water running steaming hot and lamenting about my situation (you know, sort of like Job), God started speaking to me about breathing since that was my whisper prayer (ok, I’ll be honest, it was more of like a wailing prayer).
The fact that I still had the ability to stand upright in a house with running water was a sign that breath was still in me. Was it the same quality of those inhaling deep breaths that you take before starting a meditation? No, but it was a breath. So I asked, “God what do you want me to know about not just breathing, but YOUR breath.
He reminded me that it was His breath that created mankind. “Then the LORD God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being. (Genesis 2:7, NIV). His breath has creative power.
He reminded me that it is His breath that provides sustainment. “This is what God the LORD says— the Creator of the heavens, who stretches them out, who spreads out the earth with all that springs from it, who gives breath to its people, and life to those who walk on it: (Isaiah 42:5, NIV). His breath provides the fuel for us to accomplish our work for Him.
He reminded me that my breath has a purpose. “Let everything that has breath praise the LORD. Praise the LORD (Psalm 150:6, NIV). Even though my breathing may be a little shallow as I recover, I still have breath and I can use it for the glory of God. For example, as I sit here writing this reflection, I’m drinking hot coffee to keep the nasal passages open. But I’m also worshiping God for the breath I have in my body that allows me to sit at this computer, for my fingers to type, and for my eyes to read so that I can share this reflection.
I trust God that this affliction is but for a moment. I am grateful for the breath He has allowed to remain in me. I am thankful for the lesson that reminds me that no gift from God is to be taken for granted. Live every day on purpose and in His purpose.
Will you pray with me?
Lord, God, our Creator and our Sustainer, we give you praise. From the rising of the sun to the setting of the same, You are good. Thank you for reminding us of your loving care and that you are greater than any highs or lows that we experience. You are with us ALL the time. Because You first breathed in us, we have your breath and it is enough. Acts 17:28 says “For in him we live and move and have our being” God, I thank you that it is because of You that I live, move, and have my being. Amen