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.” – Ezekiel 37:4
Today is Ash Wednesday – the start of Lent. Today, my church and countless others gather together to worship and begin this season of repentance. As we look inward, we examine our hearts and address our sin and shortcoming. Many of us have or will receive ashes that remind us we are sinners in need of a savior. We receive ashes, and with them a physical reminder that we are dead. We are dust. And to dust we shall return.
I don’t know about you, but today, as I reflect on my sin, I do realize the need for a savior, but more than that I’m really aware of how dead I am. Like the bones in Ezekiel, I am dead and dry. As I look inward today, a hard truth is realized: too often, I linger in a place of spiritual complacency. Even harder truth: too often I don’t even care.
Except I do care. I care a lot. It bothers me that there are days where I am perfectly content “dry and dead.” It bothers me that I lead ministry and encourage others to be alive in Christ, while I just chill out in the ashes. It bothers me that I know Christ, have experienced his grace and mercy, have experienced life to the full and I so easily slide into spiritual desert.
In the passage from Ezekiel, the Lord is telling Ezekiel to prophesy to Israel. Through his prophesying, God will breathe new life into his people. They will no longer be spiritually dead, lingering in complacency. Instead, they will be awakened and renewed in their faith and life. And, in that awakening and renewal, they would know the Lord!
Today, as I step into the season of Lent, I am grateful for these days of hard truths and repentance. I am thankful for the reminder to daily look inward, examine my heart and recognize my sin and brokenness. I am thankful for the opportunity to consider how I struggle to surrender to Christ. I am thankful for this season that calls me back, to humbly remember my need for a savior. I am thankful to be awakened and renewed.
More than that, I am thankful and filled with a heart of worship for the one who gave his life, giving me and you grace and freedom so we may have life and have it full! Because we know Christ, even though we experience the desert, wrestle with our sins and struggle to feel alive, we can boldly approach our Lord, knowing he will breathe life into us!
As we begin the Lenten journey, I pray you are drawn to repentance and worship. I pray that as you reflect, you learn something new about our Lord. I pray that you are reminded of grace and forgiveness that is found in Christ. I pray that daily, you humbly request “Awake my soul!” and in so doing, will know the Lord!