Sermon "Skill in Your Hand & God in Your Heart"

Saturday, February 2, 2013

From the First Breath to the Last

"And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul." Genesis 2:7

 Most people if asked, would probably agree that breathing is one of the most miraculous things in the world. But because we do it so much and it comes so natural, it pretty much goes on without us really thinking about it. I mean after all, if we take approximately 12 breaths per minute (the average respiratory rate), and there are 1,440 minutes in a day, then that means we take on average 17,280 breaths per day. And I would say that probably about...say 17,280 of them come and go with little to no attention from us. There's the breaths you take when you sleep, the breaths you take when you're watching tv, oh and when someone gives you exciting news that deep big breath you take just before you blurt out "OMG!". How about the breaths you've taken since you started reading this post (that is unless it has already left you breathless :)  Yeah, all these breaths, and we don't pay any attention to them.

There are two breaths however you will probably notice and remember for the rest of your life if you have ever experienced them. That's a first breath and a last breath. Ever seen those? I have. I was there when both of my daughters were born, and the crescendo to that whole, dramatic birthing process reached its peak as we waited for them to take their first breath. Wow! It was amazing. When they first came out, I was wondering if they were ok, if they were alive; and finally after a few heart-wrenching seconds, they took that first breath. It was just amazing.

 I have also experienced a last breath. It was when I and my dad and brothers and sisters were in the hospital room watching life slip away from my momma. Though she had been sick for so long, and we knew the end was near, we didn't want her to go. Her breathing grew more and more shallow; the time between breaths got longer and longer; until she finally exhaled for the last time on this side of glory. I felt like my heart stopped with her last breath.

Having witnessed the taking of a first and a last breath, I have come to realize how both precious and fragile every single one of them are. I mean think about it, if you were to just miss a few of those breaths, you'd no longer be living. And there are so many things that could stop those breaths from coming; an illness, smoke and certain gases, water, a pillow, the hands of another person,  and so on. That can be scary if you think about it, but let me tell you why I don't worry. See, both those first and last breaths I have seen, God was in control of them. From the very first moment that God put the very first breath into Adam, He has been in control of every breath ever since. For the 250 million plus breaths I have take in my lifetime, I know that I owe every single one of them to the Lord. And the more I understand that, the more I agree with the psalmist who wrote "Let everything that has breath, praise the Lord!" (Psalm 150:6) I wish say that I could say I have been praising Him ever since my first breath, but I'm determined to praise Him until my last.

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