There comes a time in life when you realize you have more days behind you than ahead of you. Middle age? Old age? Call it what you will, it is a mathematical truth. Another truth is that we don’t really know when that time is because we don’t know for sure when our life will end. James, the half-brother of the Lord Jesus Christ, wrote, “What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.” (James 4:14, ESV) And the Psalmist wrote, “... each man’s life is but a breath.” (Ps.39:5)
Yes, I’m past that halfway point in life, and I’m okay with that. Biblically speaking, I’m in my prime for God to work through me. Noah was 600 when the flood came, and he lived 350 years after it. Moses was 80 when he led the Israelites out of Egypt, and he died at 120 years old. Jesus was 30 when he began his public ministry and was crucified three years later. Saul/Paul was over halfway to his martyrdom before he began his missionary journeys that spread the Gospel through the known world. Considering that these examples were in the final third to final few years of their lives when God began using them for His glory, you can see why I’m in my prime. Again, biblically speaking.
If life is but a breath, then perhaps it also has two parts like breathing. We breathe in (inhalation); and we breathe out (exhalation). Maybe we spend the first part of our lives breathing in so that we can breathe out for the rest of it. This is an imperfect analogy of the miracle of life and the mystery of God at work in it, but it gives me something to think about for the next (hopefully) several decades. It hopefully also gives us all pause to appreciate both life and breathing, which can happen without us noticing. Here’s to partaking fully in the breath of life.
This article was originally published in the True Dakotan on March 16, 2022.