There’s something I’ve been thinking about quite a lot recently. I can introduce it with a riddle.
You can see when a person has it. You can see when a person doesn’t. But you can’t exactly define it. There are a couple of verses in the book of Job in the Bible that relate to its continuity. What is it?
It’s called life. You can see when a person is alive and when they’re not. A Google search came up with this definition of life: “the condition that distinguishes animals and plants from inorganic matter, including the capacity for growth, reproduction, functional activity and continual change preceding death.” But that doesn’t really say what it is does it! More what it does. The verses in Job 34:14-15 say: “If it were his intention and he withdrew his spirit and breath, all humanity would perish together and mankind would return to the dust.” (NIV) It’s no surprise to me that God Himself is responsible for life. I think it makes it easier to understand why we can’t define ‘life’.
It’s the words from Job that I’ve quoted that I’ve been thinking about in particular. When I think of creation, and particularly God’s creation of man, the words that stick in my mind particularly are from Genesis 2:7 “Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.” (NIV) But that’s only part of the picture. There’s so much more to God’s involvement with man. Literally every breath we take is possible only because of God’s power.
That certainly affects me and my attitude towards God. It makes me more grateful for my life, recognising that it’s not only all the good things that come from God but literally the continuity of my life, breath by breath. And this gift applies to every creature that breathes.
The other thing it makes me think of is a question: if God is doing this for all of us, what are we doing for Him? Makes me reflect on my efforts and helps me to not only be grateful but to make more effort to please God.
I hope you feel the same!