Every Breath Counts

Over the holiday, an old friend reached out to me to wish us a Merry Christmas. It was good to hear his voice, but after a few moments, I could tell he had to say more than just the typical merriment and walking down memory lane. 

He told me that his wife had been diagnosed with terminal cancer. It’s hard to know what to say in those situations, and after I hung up the phone, I did the only thing I knew to do. I prayed for God to give me wisdom on how to be there for him and his family during this season of their lives.  

I felt God impress upon me three words. “Every breath counts”.

I am heartbroken for my friend and deeply saddened by the weight of concern and sadness he must feel on his shoulders. As my thoughts wandered, they got me thinking about the things I take for granted. Not only the obvious things like food, work, and shelter but the fact that my heart is pumping life and my lungs are consistently giving me breath. I know we’re designed not to be distracted by the functionality of our bodies keeping us alive, but wow! I am amazed at how we were created. 

There are several mentions of God breathing in the Bible. 

“Jehovah God formed man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living soul.” Genesis 2:7

“But there is a spirit in man, and the breath of the Almighty gives them understanding.” Job 32:8

“And when He had said this, He breathed into them and said to them, Receive the Holy Spirit.” John 20:22

“All Scripture is God-breathed and profitable for teaching, for conviction, for correction, for instruction in righteousness,” 2 Timothy 3:16

Everything God breathed was a gift for us! Our Creation, The Holy Spirit, and His Living Word.

We are mere hours away from the New Year, and I find myself asking familiar questions. What will be different about this year? What if this year was our last? Are we making every breath count? 

God and I will be talking about this over the next couple weeks. So, I will keep you posted as to what He says. If you hear Him talking with you about this too, would you drop a note in the comments or shoot me an email at shawn@intentionalmerch.com?

Happy New Year! I am praying is a special one for all of us!

In His service and at yours!


Published by Shawn McCarthy

While serving as the Weekend Experience Pastor at Seacoast Church, I felt God prompting me to share the moments when He would speak His truth into my life through scripture in a way that made sense to me, giving me tangible ways to learn, grow and lead. These promptings turned into weekly emails that I would send my small groups and volunteer teams. I found myself enjoying the process of digging deeper into God’s Word, being stretched by the writing process, and encouraging others in the faith. My lovely wife, Anna, challenged me to begin this blog, so these moments that I have come to call, my “Red-Letter Moments,” can find a home. My prayer is that you will find hope, comfort, and inspiration here, and above all, you will come to know that the God of the universe loves you and desires a personal relationship with you.”

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