It’s no news, we endured a prolonged drought this summer. Scorching heat blistered the earth and left most of the country shriveled and withered.
Talk of ruined lawns and ruined crops and soaring prices swirl through our conversations.
Now it’s one thing when your environment suffers a dry spell. It’s another when the dryness is inside you.
Have you felt it? The shriveling of your spirit? The drought of the soul?
If you’re like me, you accept dry spells come from time to time. They are usually short-lived and relief soon arrives – a conversation with a friend, a visit from family, some quality time spent with the ones you love the most. Maybe some time away. Perhaps an opportunity to serve others.
But what do you do when the dry spell turns into a drought? When the drought turns into ruin? When there is no sign of rescue. When the heat keeps coming. When the forecast calls for more of the same.
Maybe we endure these times to remind us of how fragile we are? Is there a humility that comes from these experiences? Do they force our roots to dig down deeper to find the life that will sustain us?
I’m feeling dry today. Maybe not a full-blown drought, but a withering has appeared at the edges of my awareness. I’m feeling a bit shriveled.
Thinking about what comes next, Ezekiel’s dry bones came to mind. (Ezekiel 37:1-14)
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 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.’”
So for all the dry bones out there (and bones starting to dry out), hope may feel like it’s evaporated, but there is a One who restores hope. There is a One who refreshes. There is a One who breathes life back into the dead. There is a One who knows our pain and struggle and sorrow and even mild blandness. There is One who is the Lord and it is this One who saves us. Cry out to that One. Trust in that One. Seek out that One. You can be made whole again.
I needed the reminder today. If you did as well, know that relief is available and God wants to deliver you. If you didn’t need the reminder, share the news with one who does so they’ll know there is life beyond the dry times. Maybe reversing the process of drying out starts when we share the love that’s been shared with us.
Make a phone call.
Send a text.
Write a note.
Offer a smile.
Share a hug.
Life is better together,