When I lived in Indiana, it got cold enough in the fall and winter to see your breath. I know it happens here in Arizona some too, but not nearly as much as it did there. I remember as a kid, I would purposely move and turn so I could see my breath and I also loved fogging up my glasses by breathing on them.
Seeing our breath is a reminder of the complex process that takes place in our bodies as we breathe. Without the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide that takes place when we breathe, we’d quickly die. The average person takes between 12 and 20 breaths per minute, meaning we total somewhere between 17,280 and 28,800 breaths per day. Wow! It’s a good thing breathing is an involuntary action our bodies take without us consciously having to think about it.
Genesis 2:7 says
7 Then the LORD God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.
In other words, man didn’t become a living being or soul until God breathed the breath of life into him. Without that breath of life, we were just lifeless figures made of dirt.
Most people know that one. But there’s another breathing incident recorded in the New Testament that we don’t often remember. Jesus has just been raised from the dead and he goes to see His apostles as they huddle in the upper room.
21 So Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you; as the Father has sent Me, I also send you.” 22 And when He had said this, He breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.”
Just as God had breathed mankind to life, so too did Jesus breath the Holy Spirit upon His disciples.
As a result of these two breathing events, we have a soul that lives forever and we have the power of the Holy Spirit. All of this is happening inside us. So should you happen to think about yourself breathing today, be reminded of your Creator. The physical breath you breathe is temporary, but your soul lives on forever. The physical breath you breathe may keep you alive for another moment, but the Holy Spirit is what empowers us to live a life devoted to the glory of God.