Bones and Breath
If you have not gone through a period where everything seems like death and dry bones, just wait a bit, it’s coming. After all, our Savior promised us we’d have trouble in this world. Jesus didn’t say we might, he said in this world you will have trouble.
The holiday seasons in our consumeristic culture can make pain worse, losses more keenly felt, and for too many, the hope that this time should bring simply isn’t there. Faith is the only thing that brings us through, even when there is no sign of life or deliverance.
If you’re anything like me, maybe sometimes you feel like Ezekiel, preaching about a hope you’re not sure of to the dry valleys of death within your own soul… a message that life is coming. Resurrection is coming. Redemption is coming. It has to be so, because the alternative is too horrible.
While I’m in that valley, I don’t usually see God working. But after hope finally arrives, after those dry bones manage to stand up and catch hold of flesh and skin and the breath of God, after the difficulties have passed… Then, I see that the God who poured out love on the cross with a final breath of “It is accomplished” was there the whole time, preparing to revive my dry bones.
Lord, we know that new life is coming, even when we can’t feel it. We know your spirit is coming. We know that joy is coming. Maybe not today or tomorrow, but help us keep our spirits open for what you will do.
Peter Hamm is the pastor (and sometimes worship leader) at Grace United Methodist Church in Norwood, OH.
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