The Girl Who Couldn’t Breathe

The girl was pumped up with steroids, hooked up to who knows how many and what kind of hospital machines, and stuck in an ugly gown as she lay in her hospital bed getting every ounce of help she needed to breathe her next breath, and the next one and the next, but she didn’t hesitate for a single second to breathe life into me.

Today I breathe into others the breath of life……….

I was the one who stood standing in her hospital room, perfectly able to breathe. But this girl who could so easily be dying because of her ongoing battle with lung issues and a life-threatening allergy to latex was perfectly alive, her heart jam packed with love and peace overflowing. And I, with the perfect lungs who could breathe every breath so easily, I was the one dying. But how could this be?

Because the girl whom I had met just recently, who more than likely was in her late teens, had that love, and peace, and hope on top of it all, and a quiet joy that did not come from any hospital machines, from doctors, from medications, etc. She was filled with the love of Jesus Christ. And instead of lying in that hospital bed in her life-threatening circumstances moaning and desperate for her next breath, the light with which she was filled tumbled across the distance to where I stood and opened my eyes to see something altogether unfamiliar to me. I was not dying because I could not breathe.

I was dying because I knew nothing of the love she had, nothing about that peace I couldn’t put my finger on, was a stranger to her joy, and a total foreigner to her quiet resolve, to her simple, humble trust in the one who gave her breath itself. I was dying in my brokenness, broken down by life, and broken down by sin that would all, when all was said and done, lead me to one place only. Eternity in hell. She could have died on the spot and known where she was going. Heaven. I could have died right there and not even known. And this is exactly how this girl who could barely breathe breathed life into me.

For not only had she sown little seeds about Jesus Christ into my life, but she was showing me with her perfect calm and peace that her trust was not in any of the machines or doctors or medications at all. Her trust was in the Lord. And this she breathed into me, this notion that I, too, might have a life like hers. I, too, could have such peace, regardless of circumstances.

Some seeds are planted, and watered, and bring forth trees and branches and fruit all at once it seems. Others are slower, aren’t they? The seeds this girl planted all those decades ago were joined by more seeds, and then more, sown lovingly and confidently by seed sowers all along the course of my life through the years, all the way back even as I finally see now. The water came, water carried in big jugs hanging heavily on the shoulders of strong laborers God sent along the way also. And then God did what He does with seeds and water. He gave the increase.

And now I live. Breath by breath. With a peace and hope and trust and love so deep inside me that no matter what happens in my day to day life, I know like the girl did where my hope lies. In the One who sent Jesus Christ to the cross to pay the penalty for my sins so that I could repent and believe in Him and develop a relationship with God that far surpasses anything or anyone on this earth.

Today, yes, today I live. And today, this very day, and day by day, I am a seed sower. I sow seed. I breathe into other people’s lives. The breath of life. The breath of Christ.

I have not been able to find that girl from all those years ago, though periodically I have searched for her. Nor have I found some of the many other seed sowers. But I know they do not ultimately need to be found. Because they already know. They are planting seeds, and breathing breaths, not for their own glory. But for the giver of life, and the giver of breath, for the One who offers us everlasting life instead of hell to all those who will repent and confess Jesus as Lord – Jesus who was raised by God after three days to give life to us human beings who truly deserve death and hell because of our sins, and because we all fall short of God’s glory.

Today, as I follow Christ, studying and learning to live God’s Word, I have life and the promise of life everlasting. And I have the breath, and the light, to breathe and shine into other people’s lives. Now I am a seed sower. A sower of seed, a breather of life. I breathe His life into others, sharing the Gospel of Christ and ministering the Lord’s love to a world that is desperate for breath, and desperate for life. Such a passion I have, as I take every breath, for this world to know, to believe in, to follow, my beloved. My Christ!

I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow. 7So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. 8The one who plants and the one who waters have one purpose, and they will each be rewarded according to their own labor. 9For we are co-workers in God’s service; you are God’s field, God’s building. 1 Corinthians 3:6-9 NASB

Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven. Matthew 5:16 NASB

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