Eternal Impact of a Single Breath

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The brevity of a breath is a picture of our time here on earth.

Teach us to realize the brevity of life, so that we may grow in wisdom. …and make our efforts successful. Yes, make our efforts successful!  (Psalm 90:12, 17, NLT)

The desire of most people is to live a life that counts. This is a right and godly aspiration. It was Moses’ request in the above prayer. He began by asking for wisdom to make the most of time. Many things lost in life can be restored; however, time misused can never be recovered. Once the sun goes down, the day is forever gone.*

Each of us has a set amount of time to accomplish God’s plans and purposes for our lives. He preordained each of our days here on earth (see Psalm 139:16). To the eternal God, each lifespan is but a breath (see Psalm 39:5).

Take a breath—in and out—and imagine that this short intake of oxygen represents your entire life. Even if you fill your lungs to capacity, one breath is extremely short. The brevity of a breath is a picture of our time here on earth.

Now think about how many breaths you take every day. According to one source, the average adult takes about 16 breaths every minute, or over 23,000 breaths per day.** The comparison of one breath to 23,000 doesn’t begin to compare to the great difference between your lifespan and eternity, yet that one breath is the life in which God plans for you to fulfill all His purposes for you.

God has much for us to accomplish; therefore, it is important to view our time on earth as a limited resource. We must invest it wisely. Wise investments of time today pay dividends for all eternity.

Follow the example of Moses as you pray for wisdom on effectively making the most of your time. How can you invest your time today to achieve God’s eternal purposes?


*Paragraph quoted from Driven by Eternity: Making Your Life Count Today & Forever (Faith Words, 2006).

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