And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. (Genesis 2:7 KJV)
A thoughtful sister-in-law gave me a selection of stocking-stuffer gifts this past Christmas. Excitedly, I lifted samples of German deserts from within the crinkled crepe paper of my gift bag. She bakes delectable German cookies each Christmas, serving as yearly reminders of her mother’s homeland. Recognizing my Central NY State birthplace, she presented me with a “Let it Snow!” ornament. Indeed, good things do come in small packages.
I examined a candle in a palm-size jar, reading cinnamon and apple, exclaiming, “Cinnamon is one of my favorites!” After our family Christmas dinner, she along with my mother-in-law left for their nearby homes. In the days that followed, I decided that the bathroom would be the perfect spot for the miniature fragrant candle, and set it atop the commode tank. I knew I would enjoy both the warm glow of the burning candle and the seasonal scent.
A time for toiletry pampering, with a steamy shower, in a heated bathroom arrived. I lifted the glass lid from the candle and lit the wick with a match. While grooming, I watched the dancing flame as the cinnamon apple scent faintly wafted past my nose. The short-lived luxury of solitude ceased, and alert to the hazards of leaving lit candles unattended, I replaced the lid on the candle’s jar. The instantaneous snuffing out of the flame took me by surprise.
God’s still small voice communicated with clarity within the recesses of my soul. Without His life sustaining breath within each of us, we immediately cease to occupy these corruptible bodies. Faster than I could say Jiminy Cricket, God will transport me from homeland-to-Glory Land.
We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord. (2 Corinthians 5:8)
The Lord Jesus’ final words, serve as a vivid demonstration of the cessation of life giving breath. I discern a sudden snuffing out of mortality; breathing his last breath, he surrendered His spirit of earthly existence.
And Jesus cried out with a loud voice and gave up the ghost. (Mark 15:37)
The spirit, translated here, as “ghost” is life contained in a temporary earthly vessel. Christ was not giving up God, in the form of the Holy Spirit. The triune God is, and forever will be, One. Christ, on the cross, surrendered the humanity breath of life to His Father. Yet, as God the Son, Jesus lives eternally!
Heavenly Father, thank you for reminding me of the brevity of life. We must be ready to step into eternity. In Jesus name, I pray. Amen.
Pam Ford Davis
Oak Grove, Louisiana