Your word … Breathes life
Take a deep breath in, and exhale. Maybe do this a few more times…and relax. These devotions are written by parents, for parents. We intentionally write them for you during the busier seasons of life because we know it’s especially beneficial to invest in our relationship with God when things are a bit crazy.
This season is certainly crazier than anything we’ve experienced before. Apparently it’s the summer holidays – has that not been the case for months?! We know life is full on, but we also know that we are the best parents we can be to our children when we look after ourselves too.
Breathing is something we can usually do naturally without thinking, yet when we’re struggling to breathe, everything stops, everything changes. There is only one focus, to breathe again.
Parenting can often feel like we’re constantly trying to catch our breath, can’t it? We wake up in the morning, take a deep breath and think about the 25 things we need to do before our day gets going. We continue to add to our to-do lists as we’re making the kids breakfast, or getting them ready for the day. We get on that proverbial treadmill and rush off into the rhythms and routines of family life. We love and we care, we serve and support. We do our best to lay our own lives down for the lives of many and we wonder why we get caught out, trying to catch our breath in the mid-afternoon slump! It’s not just me is it?
With this in mind, let’s take a look at a familiar passage from Ezekiel 37:1-5 and find encouragement in the valley of dry bones.
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. 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. He asked me, ‘Son of man, can these bones live?’
I said, ‘Sovereign Lord, you alone know.’
Then he said to me, ‘Prophesy to these bones and say to them, Dry bones, hear the word of the Lord! This is what the Sovereign Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life.’
I don’t know about you, but every time I hear or read this passage something stirs within me. Just take a moment and imagine yourself in that valley, in Ezekiel’s shoes. God is speaking with you and he asks, “can these bones live?”
What do you say?
Think about your life for a moment. Are there any areas that feel particularly dry? Are you feeling weary, or over-burdened? Do you resonate with the dry bones in the valley, or more with Ezekiel speaking life?
I know sometimes I find myself lying on the floor (usually when tidying up all the pieces of Lego or cleaning up another spilt drink) wondering whether I’ve got enough energy to take that deep breath in and get up and going again.
Today’s word is for you, it’s for me, and it’s for us in this season.
Psalm 23:1-3 says, “The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul.”
Our God is the God who refreshes and restores our souls. His desire is to breathe life into our bones when we’re feeling dry and weary.
Let’s allow him to revive and refresh us today. As we take another deep breath in for a few moments, and as we breathe out our anxieties and challenges, let’s remember our God. Let’s remember who he says we are.
Psalm 46:10 in The Message Bible puts it well … “Step out of the traffic, take a long loving look at me.” Sometimes all we need is to look into God’s eyes and see his love for us – everything else springs forth out of that place.
Remember – Memory verse
“This is what the Sovereign Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life.” (Ezekiel 37:5)
Lie on the ground together and take some deep breaths in and out. You could do this outside if the weather is nice. Read the verses in Psalm 23 together and spend a few moments asking God to breathe his life into you.
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