I was reading in Job this morning, and you probably know how the story goes. Job was righteous and God allowed Satan to persecute Job to test the motives of his faith. So Job was alone, sick and miserable and mourning, and wanted to know why God had allowed this to happen to him. He had several well-meaning but horribly misguided friends who came to him and offered religious “advice.” Job’s final friend, Elihu, attacked Job for his arrogance. He said, “If God were to take back his spirit and withdraw his breath, all life would cease, and humanity would turn again to dust” (Job 34:14-15).

Okay, maybe I’ve watched too many Hollywood movies, but I got an incredible image in my mind of a crowded street. In an instant, everyone’s breath was suddenly released and they crumbled into piles of dust and ash on the ground before being blown away by the wind in the aftermath of God’s inhale. (I think there was a similar scene in the movie Surrogates, so maybe that’s where I’m getting the mental image, but) it was such a powerful thought it took my breath away.

What a powerful God we serve, one who not only spoke the world into existence but sustains it with his breath. One who, at any moment, could withdraw his breath from us and bring everything to an end but because of his great mercy, allows us to continue serving him on earth, bringing others to him. We’re so worried sometimes about the little things that seem big or the big things that seem enormous, we forget the smallest thing of all–our breath is not our own. Every inhale and exhale is a gift God has given us to use for his glory.

Thank you, Lord, for sustaining us with your breath, for guiding us with your light, and for your unfailing mercy. Forgive me for times I lack humility and make myself the center this world instead of you.