Why Do I Sigh?

I turned my heart and despaired of all the labor in which I had toiled under the sun. —Ecclesiastes 2:20 

According to the Guinness Book of World Records, a 15-year-old girl yawned continually for 5 weeks in 1888. No details were given as to the reason for the girl’s plight.

It made me wonder why we yawn. Why does a person suddenly stretch his mouth wide open, take a deep breath, and give forth a sigh? The answer is that shallow breathing, warm stuffy air, or nervousness can deplete the oxygen in the body. So our Creator-Designer equipped us with a deep-breath reflex that sends a rush of oxygen to the rescue. Aside from this technical explanation, a yawn or a sigh usually signals nervousness, tiredness, or boredom.

Then there’s the “sigh” of the soul. Reading Ecclesiastes, we can almost hear Solomon sigh as he tried one thing after another in an effort to find meaning. Time after time his spirit reacted to various situations, only to cry, “All is vanity.” Everything he touched produced emptiness (1:2; 2:11). He finally realized that nothing satisfies except to fear God and keep His commandments (12:13).

Lord, help us see that our sighs of disappointment with the pleasures and things of this life are meant to bring us to You. You alone give eternal significance to everything we pursue.

Mart De Haan 

Christian, are you disappointed
With the world and all around?
Turn your eyes from earth to heaven,
Where true joys may all be found. 

Anon.

Once we’ve feasted on the goodness of God, nothing else will satisfy.

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