Have you ever had the wind knocked out of you for one reason or another? For that moment in time, when you are unable to breathe, it can feel like something close to death. Humans, on average, take 20,000 breaths per day. 

Never did I know—or care—about this number.

Until I lost my breath.


In 2020, on day 10 of quarantining for Covid-19, my symptoms moved from a fever and constant body aches straight to my lungs. Since I thought I should be on the tail-end of my symptoms, I was not expecting the virus to shift so quickly and so dangerously. But now it began to threaten my very life. My 20,000 breaths. 

On day 12, I was hospitalized. I stayed for 8 days. And every breath from that point on became sacred. When you begin to lose the very thing that gives you life, you start to see it in a whole new light. 

I decided then that I would never start a day without first asking this question: “God, what do you want me to do with the 20,000 breaths you are so graciously giving to me today?” 

Why waste any breath speaking words that aren’t life-giving? Why waste a moment complaining about things we cannot change? Why use our words to judge someone when we have no idea what they are facing? So many of the words we use waste the precious gift of life we have been given. 

Before your feet hit the floor each morning, ask God to help you use every single breath for His purposes and His glory. Ask Him for the reminder that He is the giver of life and breath, and He knows exactly how He wants you to use that gift.