While unpacking and organizing my things, I took the time to read through a lot of my old notebooks. I found to-do lists, doodles and scores from card games Mom and I played while I was in the hospital over ten years ago. I found half-written letters to friends, sermon notes and even a dead spider squashed between two pages.
I also came across poems, songs and random journal entries that didn’t make it into my actual journals for some reason or another. I am always amazed at how horrible some of my song lyric ideas were. It’s no wonder I never did anything with them. But I am also amazed at the treasures I sometimes find amidst the junk in these notebooks: God-whispered inspiration that stays covered and hidden in the pages until just the right time.
Members of our church are gathering for the first 21 days of the year to seek God and pray together each morning. This has been such a blessing to me already, and we are only four days in! I have been able to just sit and soak in the presence of God, surrounded by my brothers and sisters in Christ. We have worshipped through song, devotions and scripture readings as we have prayed over our nation this week. One of the scriptures referenced in the last couple of days is Ezekiel 37, when God speaks to the prophet Ezekiel and takes him to a valley filled with dry bones. He asks Ezekiel if the bones can live again and Ezekiel gives the faith-filled answer of “Lord God, only You know.” And God, through Ezekiel, raises up a vast army from the dead.
In Ezekiel 37 the bones represented Israel, dry and without life. God was sending Ezekiel to prophesy to Israel and breathe His breath into them the way he had done with the dry bones.
God brought to my mind a poem I found a few weeks ago in one of my random notebooks. I wrote it in 2014 while I was still single and living in a windowless basement. I was seeking God, His purpose for my life and seeking the man he would give me as a husband. I was desperate for change. I was honestly as dry as they come.
I am dry and hollow
brittle and wasted away.
I have been torn apart,
and left to dry out
in this desert.
And the scavengers come to take all the rest
until there is nothing left
but my dry bones.
There is no hope for these remains
No skeleton has ever lived again.
I am scattered around this valley
unable to put the pieces together.
I’m too far gone to be saved,
there’s no marrow to keep me alive
There’s no chance I could ever survive
in this state.
I’m just a heap of time-weathered bones
Just a pile of unwanted parts.
Put on a covering of flesh and skin.
I click and I quake
My body takes form once again.
The warmth of this blood in my veins
How am I breathing again?
God, you take these dead and worthless parts of us and you put them to use. You are raising up an army from these once dry bones.Your breath gives us life, and You are breathing life into the lungs of Your Church that we may shout our battle cry against the forces at work in this world.
You command us to live again. And we know that we live with Your very Spirit inside of us! Let us not forget who we are and where we came from.