The Air We Breathe

John Telgren

Is time to read the Bible a luxury? I remember someone once said to me that he didn't have the "luxury" of having time to read the Bible. He said it with such disdain that I had to wonder if he really wanted to read the Bible more or if he didn't like hearing exhortations about reading the Bible.

Have you eaten today? If you haven't, you most likely will eat sometime today. I would imagine that most of the time, eating is an enjoyable experience. I don't think anyone would consider eating a luxury. We have to eat. It is a basic necessity. Without eating, we would become malnourished. If this persists, we will become weak and eventually die.

As you are reading thing, you most likely are breathing. Most of the time, we do it without thinking. It isn't until we go through some sort of experience where it is difficult to breathe or we cannot breathe that we really appreciate something as mundane as breathing. I remember having a bad respiratory infection many years ago. I couldn't get a good breath. I couldn't sleep. I didn't even feel hungry. After a visit to the doctor and some rounds of medication, I could breathe normally again. I so like to breathe! I don't think anyone would consider breathing a luxury. If you cannot breathe, you will expire in a very short amount of time. We need to eat and we need to breathe.

It occurs to me that eating and drinking are both metaphors associated with scripture. Take some time to reflect on these scriptures:

"All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work" (2 Tim 3:16-17).

"Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation" (1 Pet 2:2).

All scripture is God-breathed. The breath of God is what gives life. If we are not connected to the Word, we will suffocate. We need the breath of God in order to survive. We need to be immersed in it. It is the air that invigorates us and gives us life.

Scripture is our milk. Babies cannot survive and be healthy without their milk. They crave it. They will cry for it until they get it. They will grab the bottle and take it to their mouths, eagerly sucking in the nourishment. That is how it should be with God's Word and us. If we crave it, we will make sure we have it whether we have the time or not.

The Word of God is not a luxury. It is a necessity. It is the air we breathe. The living word brings us life, helps us grow, and helps bring us closer to God, who is our life.