Saturday, December 1, 2012
I had never given much thought to the value of a single breath until I encountered 2-week-old Nicole in an orphanage in East Africa. The tiny infant, who fit in the palm of my hand, was born prematurely, abandoned by her mother in the hospital delivery room, afflicted with meningitis, and plagued with painful bed sores that reached to her frail hip bones.
Though Nicole was too young to speak, each laboring breath she took screamed of her desire to live. Why does she fight to survive? I wondered. For in her short time on earth she had already experienced the type of agony and separation that had prompted an older and assumingly wiser Job to desire the end of life.
“Is not all human life a struggle?” Job lamented (Job 7:1). “How frail is humanity!” he exclaimed. “How short is life, how full of trouble!” (14:1). I’ll “never again feel happiness,” he believed (7:7). “My spirit is crushed, and my life is nearly snuffed out. The grave is ready to receive me” (17:1).
Job didn’t share the unwavering confidence of the psalmist, who penned, “You have allowed me to suffer much hardship, but You will restore me to life again and lift me up from the depths of the earth” (Psalm 71:20). And yet the Lord restored Job’s life. He healed Job and replenished his joy. As He did for the psalmist, God snatched Job “from the power of the grave” (49:15).
God extended Baby Nicole’s days too, healing her meningitis and restoring her body. Nicole is now a happy 5-year-old who loves to run, play, laugh, and talk about her Father who gave her life.
Though the Lord allows us to suffer hardships, He also restores us and lifts us “up from the depths of the earth” (71:20). —Roxanne Robbins
Read: Job 12 For the life of every living thing is in [God’s] hand, and the breath of every human being (v.10).
More: Read Psalm 71:7. How has God used you or someone you know to reveal Himself to others?
Next: Spend time in prayer, thanking God for giving you life and for each breath He has graciously granted you. How have hardships helped shape your faith in Him?