"The LORD’s power overcame me, and while I was in the LORD’s spirit, he led me out and set me down in the middle of a certain valley. It was full of bones. He led me through them all around, and I saw that there were a great many of them on the valley floor, and they were very dry. He asked me, "Human one, can these bones live again?"
I said, "LORD God, only you know."
He said to me, "Prophesy over these bones, and say to them, Dry bones, hear the LORD’s word!
The LORD God proclaims to these bones: I am about to put breath in you, and you will live again."
Ezekiel 37:1-5 (Common English Bible)
The day was passing like just about any other ordinary day.
With my husband out of town and me at home with the children, it was a normal day of cooking and cleaning. One child was in school, and the youngest was happily playing with his toys in the living room.
The television was tuned to programming appropriate for a 3-year-old, and we had settled in for the morning.
Then the phone call from my husband came, ringing out the news of the attacks. All seemed lost and hopeless.
I quickly changed the channel and saw the devastating events as pictures were being replayed. It just seemed too surreal — like it wasn’t really happening.
Many of us lost friends and loved ones that fateful day.
And for many families, including the family of a college friend, all seemed hopeless.
Sept. 11, AKA 9/11, had come. We were not prepared for the shock that came that day.
The writer of Ezekiel wrote in his own words what most of us were thinking after the numbness of the day began to wear off: "Really, God? Can we ever go back to normal living after such a terrible national disaster? Can we ever trust again? It seems hopeless."
But the words of the Lord come to Ezekiel, and he is told to speak God’s word to a valley of dead, dry bones, that even in the midst of death and decay, in darkness and emptiness, in the midst of national disaster, the bones would live again.
God would restore not only life and breath, but flesh and blood to the dry and empty bones.
Sometimes after great devastation, our souls can feel like the heat and dryness of the Arizona desert with its scorching heat and baking sun.
We can start to feel like those dry bones in the desert — lifeless and empty.
But hear the word of the Lord today: There is hope!
Just as God restored life to the dead, dry, empty bones, so God can restore life to our dry, parched spirits and bring us the warmth of his love once again.
Are you feeling dry and deserted?
What areas of your life are dead and lifeless? Where does all seem hopeless?
Will you let God bring new life to the places in your life that are dead and dry today?
Rev. Jan McCoy is the associate pastor of Covington First United Methodist Church in downtown Covington. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.