It’s 2:58 a.m.
God and I have been meeting a lot like this lately. In the middle of one thing or another. In the middle of the mess. In the middle of life. In the middle of open-ended questions. In the very middle of my story.
While he may not have a need for slumber I do. My body yearns for the covers. My mind aches to be relieved of its duties. It’s barely been a week since I was released from the hospital. One moment I was dizzy and trying to make it to the kitchen for a glass of water, the next I’m opening my eyes to my husband. He tells me that he found me on the floor because I’m fighting Encephalitis.
Just barely a month before that we were in three different hospitals because his heart raced over 300 beats a minutes and then stopped after being shocked. We were in the middle of fighting for our health after always being so healthy and active.
These thoughts are fresh in my mind as I roll out of bed in the dark as my hands search to find my cane and I question why He likes meeting me between the midnight and dawn.
On the couch, covered in my favorite blue blanket the thick pages of my Bible fall open to Ezekiel. And this is what He whispers about our world, my church, but most intensely my bones.
Heather, do you believe I can make your dry bones come to life again?
It’s 3:18 and I whisper, “God only you know that.”
And he presses into my bones: “I am putting new breath into you again.”
And I sit there in the silence and think of what He’s telling me. So I breathe my first breath and I inhale so deeply.
Do you believe in every season I am capable? Do you believe this here in the middle?
He leads me to the valley of dry bones, He whispers how in many places, I am dead and dying because I am weary.
I read the story and He unveils the truth about the very middle of the story. “I will put breath into you and make you live again. I will put flesh and muscles on you and cover you with skin. I will put breath into you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the Lord.’”
This middle of the night moment is a Holy Awakening.
This realization that He is with me in the middle. He is breathing life into me. But sometimes we forget because life takes our breath away. We can’t see past the unexpected or the fire in our chest because we can’t see past the next breath.
One minute we’re doing life. Kids, laundry, carpool, schedules, work, dirty dishes and the next we find ourselves in the middle of the mess. We don’t know the end and we can’t go back to the beginning. We have to know the valley isn’t where our story ends.
So my friends this is the work we are doing, to open our lungs and allow Him to breathe life into us again. And if I’m being honest, it can be downright hard.
It’s easy when we are at the beginning. It’s fresh, it’s new, it’s breathtaking, it’s intoxicating.
Like the moment you hold your squirmy newborn and breathe in her scent.
The moment after you say I DO to the man of your dreams.
The moment you stand in the living room of your new home.
The moment you survey your new office or the moment you sit in your first Grad class.
The beginning is fresh and full of possibilities. But what happens when you’re in the middle of that story? It’s in the middle where it takes our breath away?
It’s in the middle where we doubt:
When you find yourself exhausted during another in the middle of the night nursing session.
When you’re in the middle of parenting a child with Autism or ADHD?
In the middle of recovery.
In the middle of fighting a brain infection.
In the middle of learning how to how to walk again.
It’s 4 a.m.
He whispers that He sees me and will call the winds of the earth to breathe life into me again. His breath – His way.
No matter how tired, no matter you ache, no matter how weary, He will breathe life into your dry bones. He is still with you, here in the middle of the valley dry bones, here in the middle of your story. Here in the middle of my story. So, my darling, breathe deep.