Photo: Ivan Dostal
When my son was two, he got a virus which sent his breathing downhill, fast: each wheeze saw his little chest caving in beneath his ribs. We ended up at the emergency room, where they gave him steroids and hooked him up to a nebulizer.
I’ve definitely been that mom hovering over my sleeping newborn to check he’s still breathing, but this experience took fear up a notch. There’s nothing quite like my child struggling to breathe that reminds me of how much I can’t control. I can plan our days and our meals and our routes to our next event, but the inhale and exhale of the lungs, the dah-dum of a heartbeat, the synapses firing in the brain—I’m powerless.
“[God is not] served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything.” (Acts 17:25)
He gives life, yes. We know that. But I love that Paul (the speaker) includes breath. In the same way God breathed life into the first man, Adam, he also gives us every breath—about 22,000 daily breaths we often take for granted.
It can be terrifying to think about our lack of control over our very breath, but God’s goodness and faithfulness paints this verse in a comforting light. If he can give us each breath, he can supply every other need. If he can keep my child’s heart beating, he can also give my child a new heart, one that trusts in him for salvation.
He holds your very life in his good and faithful hands. Take heart, then, that he also holds your messy, seemingly-out-of-control circumstances, using them for your good and his glory.