Well-meaning strangers have pulled up alongside my minivan and honked the horn so I’ll swivel my head in their direction. Then they wave their hands at me and initiate a mini-game of charades.
Oh I get it—they want me to roll my window down before the light turns green. So, I fumble around with my automatic windows, pressing every wrong button in nervousness until I finally get it right just in time to hear them shout out the message.
Passers-by in parking lots have strolled by my minivan and backed up to deliver the news. Friends from church have walked the perimeter and told me what they saw.
“You have a flat tire.”
I appreciate the alert because I’m an unobservant ignorer of massively important details. I’ve been known not to notice that my husband has shaved his beard completely off after having it for 3 months.
So, I’m pretty dependent on more observant folks to help me out and sound the alarm.
Unfortunately, the news they bear isn’t at all what I want to hear.
You see, someone has surely placed a magnet inside my tires that attracts every nail on the road in our entire county. It must be true because I get a flat tire about four times a year.
That seems statistically impossible somehow.
And definitely unfair.
Of course, the frustrating thing about tires is that you never just replace one. It’s always a matter of two. That’s a law of physics or something.
Unfortunately, this time the rim was bent and my tires needed to be replaced.
Yes, tire”s” as in two of them (please refer back to the First Law of Tires).
This also means that by some miracle I didn’t drive over a nail in the last month. I apparently drove over a pothole or something of that nature instead, just to shake things up and keep life interesting. Variety is, after all, the spice of life.
This first reminds me of the Geico commercial of a pothole with a Southern accent.
The difference between the commercial and my reality being that my pothole didn’t speak to me like a Southern belle and apparently it was damaging enough to cause long-term catastrophic failure, but not terrible enough for me to notice it happening.
This whole experience has reminded me of something else, though: How it feels to be flat, sucked dry, breathless, desperate for the Spirit of God, lifeless, joyless, and emptied out.
Oh, how desperately we want to take in God’s presence and His life-giving breath, but no amount of gasping and gulping at the air lifts us off the ground.
So there you remain, feeling the void, unable to move.
It comes on us gradually, this emptiness. We’ve picked up the tiniest of nails, over and over again from daily annoyances and perpetual busyness. Perhaps we’ve even bounced over a few potholes that have dented and bruised our Spirit.
Even when you do everything right, even when you flop down at the kitchen table to read God’s Word and you serve in ministry and you love others and you pray and you blast the praise music (when your kids let you choose the songs in the car)….even then it’s possible to wake up one day and realize you are flattened out and suffocating for want of God’s Spirit.
The prophet Ezekiel stood overlooking a valley filled with “bones that were very dry.” They were hopeless and cut off, dried up. It’s the same as feeling flat with its lifelessness, breathlessness, the deadness, and the void.
God’s message to the bones was: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life (Ezekiel 37:5 MSG). Not just breath! “I will put my Spirit in you and you will live” (Ezekiel 37:13 MSG).
It was a revival. A newness of life. Taking the dead, dried out, and breathless and filling it anew with the very Spirit of our holy God.
But it began with dead bones crying out: ‘Our bones are dried up and our hope is gone; we are cut off!’ (Ezekiel 37:2, 11 MSG).
They were clamoring for life instead of accepting their dry deadness scattered along the valley floor. We also cry out to Him, “God, we’re desperate for your Spirit and we won’t remain silent here flattened to the ground. Fill us anew! Make Your Word come alive! Stir my heart to see You, to hear Your voice, to feel Your presence. Breathe Your life into me.”
And this He will do, maybe through gradual healing and patching together or maybe in a revival of a moment. He will do it because we ask. He will do it for the glory of His name so that “you will know that I the Lord have spoken, and I have done it” (Ezekiel 37:14).
One of my favorite worship songs: Desert Song, by Hillsong United
This is my prayer in the desert
When all that’s within me feels dry
This is my prayer in my hunger and need
My God is the God who provides
Heather King is a wife, mom, Bible Study teacher, writer and worship leader. Most importantly, she is a Christ follower with a desire to help others apply the Bible to everyday life with all its mess, noise, and busyness. Her upcoming book, Ask Me Anything, Lord: Opening Our Hearts to God’s Questions, will be released in the Fall of 2013! To read more devotionals by Heather King, click here.
Copyright © 2012 Heather King