This Sunday, the Old Testament reading is Ezekiel’s vision of the Valley of Dry Bones (Ezekiel 37:1-14). In Bible study this morning as we talked about that text, the question came up, “What kinds of situations do people face which might cause them to despair that they feel like dried, dead bones?  How might God’s Spirit breathe life and hope into these folks?”

The stories the Bible study members told were immensely moving – stories of grave loss and devastation that they or people they loved had known – but each of them also spoke about ways that God had brought healing in the most surprising ways.

You have stories like that, too, don’t you? Times when you knew the Spirit of God was bringing you back to life in ways you could never have foreseen – bringing you peace and comfort and hope when you were pretty sure those things were gone for good.

I pray for that for you today, friends. If you have a story of healing to tell, share it – because it might be just the life line someone is needing. And if today you find yourself still in the midst of the Valley of Dry Bones, feeling dry, withered, forsaken – know that I am praying for you that soon you will feel the Spirit bringing you back to life again…breathing God’s breath into your days.

God is near. Always.

Published by Ruth E. Hetland

Ruth E. Hetland is the pastor of Saint Peter's Lutheran Church of Audubon, Minnesota. She is a mom, wife, skeptic, and Alt for Norge (Norwegian reality show) participant. She has served as a pastor in three other congregations prior to Saint Peter's: Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church of South Newstead in Akron, New York, First Lutheran Church in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and Our Savior's Lutheran Church at Norse of Clifton, Texas. She has been published in The Lutheran magazine, Christ in Our Home, the Word in Season, the Upper Room, Sundays and Seasons, and several other worship resources. Her most recent book is "Writing With a View of the Graveyard: Loss, Life, and Unruly Grace;" (2018). This devotional with photographs of rural churches is available in black and white on Amazon and in full-color by contacting Ruth at ruthehetland@gmail.com; Ruth's first book, a preaching resource, "The Power of Place and Story in Preaching," was published in 2012 and is available on Amazon. Ruth can be contacted at ruthehetland@gmail.com.

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