Jesus waved at me from the Old Testament.
I know it sounds weird. Just the visual that brings up in my mind is odd.
I wasn’t looking for him. Honestly I was just sitting there in church, sipping on my much-needed skinny caramel latte and trying to clear the cobwebs from my brain because I had worked night shift that night. As in, I got home from work at 7am, took a nap, and was sitting in church at 11:30. Cobwebs.
Our church is currently reading through a book called The Story: The Bible as One Continuing Story of God and His People, which is a basic paraphrased retelling of the entire Bible, from Genesis to Revelation. I was excited when they first began this book study, because if you have read me for more than a couple of years you know that I’m sort of passionate about reading the entire Bible. I’ve done it, three times, following the Bible in 9o Days reading plan. I love it.
And I failed miserably at it this past new year.
It was with an entirely self- righteous mind that I thought, Wow, how cool! This church might even get an understanding of the whole Bible through doing this book study.
Foolish me. I struggled with the book reading myself. I have trouble reading the retelling, when I’ve read His words through so many times. I already get it. I remember a lot of the details of the Story that aren’t covered in The Story.
It’s been a hard couple of years since we left the church we were at for 17 years.
It has been a spiritual growth process, a shedding of blinders, of prejudices, and stepping outside the bounds of a tightly insulated environment and into The Real World. It’s amazing what can happen in your life when you let go of certain ideals and get down to basics. Like Jesus. Just Jesus.
So I’m sitting in church, and the pastor is talking about Hezekiah and Manasseh and the prophets that were sent to Judah over and over, as God threw them yet another line, wanting to bring them back to Him. He read in Ezekiel about the vision he had of the Valley of Dry Bones, and how the Lord brought them together and put flesh on them, showing him what he was going to do with Judah, bringing them back from the (spiritual) dead.
Back up again, to the previous night, where on my breaks at work I had been devouring Blue Like Jazz: Nonreligious Thoughts on Spiritual Christianity by Donald Miller. Devouring, as in reading with a pen in hand, underlining passages. This book is so absolutely quotable, and so very thought provoking, I just love it.
I had underlined,
“The entire world is falling apart because nobody will admit they are wrong. But by asking God to forgive you, you are willing to own your own crap.”
Not the most Christian-ese quote by any means, but it hit me. All God wants us to do is own our own crap.
The Valley of Dry Bones has been me lately.
So very dry. Between my night shift weekend job, my VA business, my kids, and getting ready to start homeschooling again, I’m zapped. I haven’t read the Word much at all, but I have been praying and thinking and pondering and wondering where it all fits in again.
God showed me Jesus in those dry bones. That again, this is just a season He is bringing me through. This plan he has for my life is still in motion, and my own growth simply depends on me constantly turning back to Him, the giver of Life.