Two men walk into a church service and listen to a sermon given by a faithful preacher. As the preacher speaks, a single phrase catches the attention of both men: “the God who holds your breath in His hand and owns all your ways” (Daniel 5:23). The preacher continues his message, but each man is no longer listening. The truth of that phrase grips their hearts like an iron shackle. God is in control of their lives! The very breath they are currently breathing is controlled by his omnipotent hand. As they consider God’s sovereignty not just over the world, but their individual lives, they each respond in a different way.
Look at the face of the first man. He stares at the floor with a solemn expression. His eyes dash to and fro and he begins to perspire as he considers the horror of such a thought. Whether he takes his next breath is determined by an all powerful God whom he has never known. Will this sovereign God allow his life to continue or will judgment fall as it did for the ancient Babylonian ruler, Belshazzar? A wave of horror sweeps over him as he considers this truth. And with widened eyes, he cries out, “My life is in God’s hands!”
But turn your gaze now to the second man, and you will find a completely different response. This man is not looking at the floor. Instead, you marvel at the peaceful expression on his face—so different than the other. He is looking upward with a smile as he contemplates God’s control of his life. Ever since he submitted his soul to God through faith in Jesus Christ, this man has had no fear of the future. Hearing the biblical phrase instead fills his heart with a peace that passes all understanding because he has learned that God loves and cares for his own. And with a peaceful expression he whispers quietly to himself, “My life is in God’s hands!”