I recall many events years ago watching all my children, at various times, succumb to febrile convulsions where their breathing stopped, body went limp, lips went blue all due to a virus. It is a very frightening event for anyone. How vitally we all need breath in our lungs! Such a simple yet imperative action for every human body.
The reading for today is Isaiah 3:1-4:1. The premise for this reading actually begins in chapter 2 verse 22,
Stop trusting in mere humans, who have but a breath in their nostrils. Why hold them in esteem?
We breathe through our nose because God has made us like that. We only have a breath in our nostrils because God allows us to. What value then do we really have? Why then should we humans think we have all the answers and can be relied upon to solve all our own problems as well as anything which mankind may face? We don’t have much to boast about do we? No wonder Isaiah encouraged his listeners not to rely on other people, even those in authority. He reminds them of people’s cruelty towards each other and disobedience of God’s rules.
In the Colossians reading Paul encourages his listeners to focus on God, to pray steadfastly and with thanksgiving knowing that we don’t have the ability to change people or control events, but God does. He points our attention to how we can encourage and even help other people by prayer.
2 Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving. 3 At the same time, pray also for us, that God may open to us a door for the word, to declare the mystery of Christ, on account of which I am in prison— 4 that I may make it clear, which is how I ought to speak.
5 Walk in wisdom towards outsiders, making the best use of the time. 6 Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.
Using our breath to speak words of Christ and his love for us is an encouragement which others need to hear and how our Creator wants us to live. May we be reminded that we don’t have all the answers but God does. And may we use wisely each breath he has given us.