What's In a Breath?: Introduction


In the time it takes for you to read this sentence you will have taken at least one breath.  Were you aware of it? On average adults breathe once every four seconds. For children under 12 the rate is one breath every 3 seconds.  Every day we take an average of 21,600 (adults) to 28,800 (children) breaths!  Most of them go unnoticed.  Yet, nothing is more vital to our life.  Within seconds of being born a baby’s survival depends on taking its first breath.   You can live for a month without food, 3 or 4 days without water, but only 4-6 minutes without oxygen.   That’s right, we are all 4-6 minutes away from death!  In terms of keeping us alive, breathing is around 7,000 times more important than the food we eat, and 1,000 times more important than the water we drink.


baby’s first breath

We will explore the amazing transformation that takes place during this first breath - from umbilical cord oxygen supply to air-lungs supply in our 7th article in “What’s In a Breath?”

          Take a long, deep breath.  That’s right -   Breathe in and breathe out.  Do it again, and this time as you do think about what is happening.  Chest rising and falling, and the sound of air moving into and out of your lungs.   “Not much, you say”, yet I promise that you will be amazed to discover what just took place in your body, and how that is keeping you alive.  

     You might wonder how I became interested in something as commonplace as breathing.   It was a verse I read in Daniel 5, the account of Daniel confronting the royal Belshazzar of Babylon.   Daniel 5:23  reads,  ”But the God in whose hand are your life-breath and your ways, you have not glorified.” (NASB)  I began to wonder, “How does God hold our life-breath in His hands?  What does that actually mean?”  I found several other scriptures which echoed this sentiment:  Job 12:9-10; "Who among all these does not know that the hand of the LORD has done this, in whose hand is the life of every living thing, and the breath of all mankind?  Also Acts 17:25 which states, “nor is He served by human hands, as though He needed anything, since He Himself gives to all people life and breath and all things;” (NASB)

I invite you to join me as together we explore how God holds your life-breath in His hands. To do this we will look at 7 “problems” which have been overcome in His providence in keeping us alive.