Go with me today and imagine your eyes are closed, and I am reading this story to you. If it helps, read it out loud.
You were driving on a hot summer day just to get away from it all, and you took a wrong turn and now your lost. You’re in the middle of the desert and your gas tank is empty. You have just wet your lips with the last drop of water out of your dasani bottle. All around is cactus’, rocks and desert landscape for as far as the eye can see. You’re in the desert. You begin to say to yourself, “I can get back, I can do this…think think.” You quickly realize there is no way out and fear engulfs your every thought. “I am going to starve.” “I am going to die of dehydration.” You think of your family and friends and how you miss them and you think about the last things you said to each of them. Did you tell your husband you loved him today? Did you kiss your children goodbye? You begin to cry out in desperation, “God I am not ready to die yet.” You begin to bargain with God, “if only you would get me out of this situation I am in Lord I will do whatever you ask”, you say. “I will do whatever you want.” Pretty soon your crying and asking God to forgive you for every sin you have committed.
The sun is scorching your skin but you can’t sit in the car you would suffocate. The air is so heavy it burns your lungs with every breath. Your mouth is so dry your tongue is sticking to the roof of your mouth. There is no place to escape the blazing sun. There is nowhere to run away from the decision you made to turn right instead of left. The self hating thoughts of your poor decision are echoing in your head and you can’t escape from your own torment. Why did I do that? Why didn’t I just stay home? You begin to feel sorry for yourself and retreat back to the past and all your previous bad decisions are now lumped into one huge failure of a woman, wife, mother, and friend. You start to curse God and ask why you were ever born.
You close your eyes and slide down the side of the car door in pure exhaustion. You finally surrender and pray. This time you really pray like you have never prayed before. You can feel your heart beating and you hear your own breath breathing. You lay face down in the desert sand and you just worship. You start to thank God for your life. Thank you God for everything I am. Thank you God for this very breath. I am here at your feet again. I surrender Lord. Sweep me up again God I can’t do anything apart from you. God help me. Rescue me father. I don’t want to live another minute without you. Lord your will not mine. God I trust you in everything. I give you my life. I give you my husband and our marriage. I give you our children. All my friends they are yours. Our finances, our house, our car it’s all yours God do what you will. Please God breathe life into these dead bones in Jesus name amen.
You slowly open your eyes, and your still in the desert nothing has changed. You feel rejuvenated and full of strength and hope. You stand to your feet and you feel taller. You feel forgiven and loved. You feel protected and the fear has vanished. You take a step in the direction back towards home and you begin to walk. “One step at a time”, you say and you smile, because you feel so silly. Why did I ever doubt? Then you see a car coming in the distance and your heart starts to race. The car gets closer and closer and you realize its your husband and your kids coming to get you. Your husband tracked your phone through GPS to find you when you didn’t answer. He knew something was wrong it wasn’t like you to not answer.
Your children have never sounded sweeter than right now. His kiss has never been so sweet. Your dry bones have had life breathed into them yet again. You feel overwhelmed to be needed, loved, missed and wanted. Your father is missing you today. Your husband needs your kiss today. Your children need their momma to dance with them undignified to 1980’s music really loud. Go to the place where you are desperate for God’s touch so you can be filled up to pour out to those around you.
The Valley of Dry Bones
37 The hand of the Lord was on me, and he brought me out by the Spirit of the Lord and set me in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones. 2 He led me back and forth among them, and I saw a great many bones on the floor of the valley, bones that were very dry. 3 He asked me, “Son of man, can these bones live?”
I said, “Sovereign Lord, you alone know.”
4 Then he said to me, “Prophesy to these bones and say to them, ‘Dry bones, hear the word of the Lord! 5 This is what the Sovereign Lord says to these bones: I will make breath[a] enter you, and you will come to life. 6 I will attach tendons to you and make flesh come upon you and cover you with skin; I will put breath in you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the Lord.’”
7 So I prophesied as I was commanded. And as I was prophesying, there was a noise, a rattling sound, and the bones came together, bone to bone. 8 I looked, and tendons and flesh appeared on them and skin covered them, but there was no breath in them.
9 Then he said to me, “Prophesy to the breath; prophesy, son of man, and say to it, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Come, breath, from the four winds and breathe into these slain, that they may live.’” 10 So I prophesied as he commanded me, and breath entered them; they came to life and stood up on their feet—a vast army.
11 Then he said to me: “Son of man, these bones are the people of Israel. They say, ‘Our bones are dried up and our hope is gone; we are cut off.’ 12 Therefore prophesy and say to them: ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: My people, I am going to open your graves and bring you up from them; I will bring you back to the land of Israel. 13 Then you, my people, will know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves and bring you up from them. 14 I will put my Spirit in you and you will live, and I will settle you in your own land. Then you will know that I the Lord have spoken, and I have done it, declares the Lord.’”