I have climbed Quandary Peak, a fourteener in Colorado, twice. It is one of the fifty eight peaks in the Rocky Mountains range that is over 14,000 feet (4200+ metres).  

The trailhead starts at 10,850 feet above sea level and the elevation gain to get to the peak is 3,450 feet (1050 metres). The peak sits at nearly 14,300 feet. 

The hike is only three and a half miles long, less than seven miles roundtrip, but it takes over six hours to complete. Six hours sounds like a long time, and it is. Usually, it takes fifteen to twenty minutes to walk one mile. The issue isn’t the difficulty of the climb but the altitude. To walk at that elevation with a lack of oxygen means it is tough to breathe. 

Even walking at a snail’s pace, and stopping every ten minutes, one’s breath is labored. It makes me appreciate the ease with which I breathe at sea level.

Most of us don’t think about each breath we take until we find it hard to breathe, whether it is climbing a fourteener or for health reasons. Then we are grateful for each intake of air that gets to our lungs.

However thankful we are for oxygen that keeps us alive, our real gratitude should be to God. Nothing else and no one else gives us breath except God. An oxygen machine or a ventilator might help our breathing, but it is the Creator of the heavens…who gives breath to its people, and life to those who walk on it

Those words from Isaiah 42:5 give us a perspective we don’t usually think about when we rush around during the day trying to catch our breath as we go about our business or huff and puff from physical exercise. But, we are dependent on God for every single intake of air.

God gives breath to every single creature and every single person on this planet. Every person you walk past in the street, the crowd surrounding you at an event, the friend you met today, and each family member with whom you live. God, is the reason they are alive.

Breathing also makes us aware that the life we have is fragile. We all have friends and family members who have breathed their last breath on earth. Losing someone we love, makes us aware of the value of life.

Job, with his intense suffering, speaks about breath more than anyone else in the Bible. Job knew: For the life of every living thing is in his [God’s] hand, and the breath of every human being.

This thought can make us solemn because if God gives us breath, he can also take it away. At the same time, we should be in awe of God and also know that being dependent on him in life is the right way to live.

No words are more dramatic than reading about the power in God’s breath to create

By the word of the Lord the heavens were made, their starry host by the breath of his mouth.

Psalm 33:6

To bring life:

Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.

Genesis 2:7

To give everlasting, and divine-filled life:

And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.

John 20:22

So what shall we do with the breath God has given us? Let’s be grateful and praise him.


  • I had to be on oxygen with numerous ailments in 2021, and when a nurse told me I would wind up on a ventilator, I said, ” No, I won’t. ” And I wasn’t, I thank Him for every breath.

  • Thank you Rachel for a powerful reminder of our one precious life! And kudos to you for an amazing walk!

  • Thank you for this wonderful timely reminder that we breathe because of God – as the praise song aptly says “it’s Your breath in our lungs …”. We so often takes breathing for granted!

  • Thank you for this beautiful article.
    I was reminded of the hymn by Edwin Hatch

    Breathe on me, Breath of God,
    Fill me with life anew,
    That I may love what Thou dost love,
    And do what Thou wouldst do.
    Breathe on me, Breath of God,
    Until my heart is pure,
    Until with Thee I will one will,
    To do and to endure.
    Breathe on me, Breath of God,
    Till I am wholly Thine,
    Until this earthly part of me
    Glows with Thy fire divine.
    Breathe on me, Breath of God,
    So shall I never die,
    But live with Thee the perfect life
    Of Thine eternity.
    Thank you
    God bless you and your inspirational work

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