1. free from moisture or excess moisture; not moist; not wet
2. having or characterized by little or no rain
3. characterized by absence, deficiency, or failure of natural ordinary moisture.
Yep. That is how I feel…like my soul is flaking, my heart is parched, and my frame is withering. Dry.
Is it this arid, hot, Montana summer? Have I failed to drink enough liquids? No… this is dehydration of the spirit, and I need a long cool drink out of God’s fountain, before I turn to dust.
Have you ever gotten to this place? Where you go and go and GO, until you find that, whoa, I actually do have a end to my rope… and here are the frays to prove it. Preparing for Africa is so… involved. I never expected it to be so hard. Being a big picture kind of gal, I tend to not consider the weight of the details, the amount of work that is attached to one big adventure. Or the amount of feeling.
Everyday I find myself stopping and staring at people and things that I will miss. Just this morning I looked at a picture of my mom and sister dancing in our family kitchen, lit by morning light, and had a mound of sadness well up in my chest.
I will miss the sound the coffee maker gurgling, the dogs’ fingernails clicking across the wood floor, and my dad talking to Lidia Bastianich on PBS as they make the same Italian dish… continents away. Soon I will be continents away. Whew.
Turns out the process of support-raising is more involved than I ever dreamed too. I feel like I have hit a wall. After hundreds of letters, copious phone calls, relentless calculating, endless spreadsheets and paperwork, I still have miles to go… and I am spiritually on empty with the pedal pushed to the floor.
I am at the famous junction… the place where I have mustered all of my humanly efforts and come up short, and God has to show up and divinely finish this thing. Moses was here, not to mention David, Ruth, Daniel, Elijah and countless others. It was God who parted the sea and provided an escape for the captives of Egypt, not Moses. It was God who led the king to victory and saved him from his enemies, not David. It was God who delivered a poor foreigner and her mother-in-law back home and saved them from destitution, not Ruth or Naomi. It was God who stayed the lions’ jaws and gave a man the wisdom interpret dreams and to navigate the royal courts, not Daniel. It was God who sent a fire ball from Heaven to consume a soggy offering in front of hundreds of people on Mount Carmel and prove His power, not Elijah. And on and on. It is God who accomplishes, not me.
Lately I have been letting my failures and lackings determine my worth. After my dear friend Kim prayed for me this Sunday, she looked at me and said, “Bess, it is God who tells you your worth.” ZING, that one went right to the heart. Nothing else has the right or authority to tell me my value, and I am closing my ears to God when I allow anyone or anything else to tell me what I am worth.
“All this is evidence that God’s judgment is right, and as a result you will be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are suffering. God is just: He will pay back trouble to those who trouble you and give relief to you who are troubled, and to us as well.”
2 Thessalonians 1:5-7
Trying to do all of this on my own (and failing), compounded with the ache of impending transition, separation, and raw newness has sucked all the moisture out of my soul. I looked up dry in the back of my bible, and God brought me to tears as I read this passage in Ezekiel…
The Valley of Dry Bones
1 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. 2 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. 3 He asked me, “Son of man, can these bones live?”
I said, “Sovereign LORD, you alone know.”
4 Then he said to me, “Prophesy to these bones and say to them, ‘Dry bones, hear the word of the LORD! 5 This is what the Sovereign LORD says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life. 6 I will attach tendons to you and make flesh come upon you and cover you with skin;
I will put breath in you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the LORD.’”
7 So I prophesied as I was commanded. And as I was prophesying, there was a noise, a rattling sound, and the bones came together, bone to bone. 8 I looked, and tendons and flesh appeared on them and skin covered them, but there was no breath in them.
9 Then he said to me, “Prophesy to the breath; prophesy, son of man, and say to it, ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Come, breath, from the four winds and breathe into these slain, that they may live.’” 10 So I prophesied as he commanded me, and breath entered them; they came to life and stood up on their feet—a vast army.
11 Then he said to me: “Son of man, these bones are the people of Israel. They say, ‘Our bones are dried up and our hope is gone; we are cut off.’ 12 Therefore prophesy and say to them: ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: My people, I am going to open your graves and bring you up from them; I will bring you back to the land of Israel. 13 Then you, my people, will know that I am the LORD, when I open your graves and bring you up from them. 14 I will put my Spirit in you and you will live, and I will settle you in your own land.
Then you will know that I the LORD have spoken, and I have done it, declares the LORD.’”
I need the breath of God to enter these bones again. I need to know the sheer power of Your might, because I have none left. I am as useless as a pile of bones on the desert floor. I need to know that it is You who will do it, that You won’t leave me in a heap on the cracked earth.
“The Spirit of God has made me;
the breath of the Almighty gives me life.“
Breathe on me Lord, and I will inhale deeply. Bring me to life again, and in your time, bring me to Africa.