As Long As I Have Breath

by Bill Bright

As I write this, I am confined to my bed and am on supplemental oxygen 24 hours a day.

In October, 2002, I celebrated my 81st birthday. Approximately three years ago, I was diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis, a progressive lung disease. The doctors told me there is no known cure for this condition. I was told that the average remaining life of someone with pulmonary fibrosis is three years and at the most five years.

That time has almost expired. Many people, aware of my physical condition, thought I would be gone from this world long before now. It reminds me of Mark Twain, who, after reading his obituary in a newspaper, laughed off the erroneous report stating, “Rumors of my death have been greatly exaggerated.” In fact, the past two years have been among the most productive of my life, as I have been able to keep a vigorous schedule of writing, editing, producing teaching videos, some traveling and speaking, and even the co-founding of the Global Pastors Network, a strategy to help start 5 million house churches worldwide.     

Of course, if the Lord tarries, my day to enter glory will eventually come. What a wonderful day that will be! But it is a win-win situation for me. If I go, I will be with my wonderful Lord whom I have served for almost 60 years. If I stay, I will be able to joyously serve Him even more than I have in the past.

I am reminded of Psalm 150:6, “Let everything that has breath praise the Lord” (NIV). As long as I am here, as long as I have breath, I will praise and serve the Lord.

That is also God’s will for your life. If you trust in Him, it can also be a win-win situation for you. As long as you have breath, God’s Word commands you to praise Him, and He also has something for you to do. There are many possibilities. Perhaps you can be a prayer intercessor. There is not a more important job in the body of Christ than that of an intercessor.

You can be a prayer intercessor while confined to a bed or a wheelchair. You pray literally anywhere. If you do not have the strength to pray aloud, you can whisper. If you cannot whisper, you can move your lips. If you cannot move your lips, then pray silently, in your mind. God knows and reads your heart.

Your humble prayers can actually help change your world!

Are you still breathing? Then be encouraged, and get busy!

Dr. Bright was founder and president/chairman emeritus of Campus Crusade for Christ.

Copyright 2003, Bill Bright

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