Dry as a bone

Gary’s Lament

Having never been to Israel or any part of the Middle East I don’t know how the dust of Elisha’s tomb felt that is of spoken of in 2 Kings 13:21. However, I do know dust.

I’ve baled hay when it was so hot and so dusty that my nose clogged, and I had no saliva to spit the dust out of my mouth. Mud covered me from the soil mixed with sweat which instantly dried, turning into a patchwork of dried, mud tiles that covered my body, up my legs and down my arms. Hauling the bales up into the top of the barn while the temperature was easily 140 degrees caused every inch of my body itched.

So, yes, I know dust, And, I know the dehydration that comes with it, but even baling old hay doesn’t come close to the dehydration of my soul. Empty, useless, dry and dead, are what my senses tell me.

I know I’m not dead for I know Christ lives in me, and at times the Holy Spirit stirs in my writing. Yet, still, I’m so parched. Living water is my only hope. I am as the dead man described in 2 Kings 13:21.

2 Kings 13:21
Once while some Israelites were burying a man, suddenly they saw a band of raiders; so they threw the man’s body into Elisha’s tomb. When the body touched Elisha’s bones, the man came to life and stood up on his feet.

How I long to be thrown into Elisha’s tomb, to fall against that which seems dead, dry and turned to dust but, in truth, still has the power of God’s anointing upon it. A touch from that which has touched God is what I need. Where is he? Why is there no one to transfer God’s refreshing from Him to me? Even Elijah was refreshed by ravens.

Do it yourself, I can hear some say, but I know what my soul needs. So many of the modern churches are designed to make dead people comfortable not the lost uncomfortable, and certainly not to refresh the weary; to bring the empty into contact with God’s anointing.

Oh God, refresh me and restore me I pray. Plant me among “lively stones,” (1 Peter 2:5) people that are alive and know how to impart Your life to the dry, dusty and seemingly dead. Revive me I pray. Renew me I cry. Restore me I plea. As you’ve done in times past, do it again I pray. Amen.

Photo by Dan Gold on Unsplash

Mutual Refreshing

As with most couples, we have a list of shared, favorite movies. It’s the same with close friends. We often quote lines from these movies to each other when they fit a circumstance in our life. Maybe we’re just weird, but it’s a kind of verbal intimacy. Can you guess the following three movies that are on our list just from just these quotes? No Googling!

Movie 1: “Inconceivable!” “As you wish…” “No more rhymes now I mean it!” “Anybody want a peanut?”

Movie 2: “I can’t put my arms down!” “You used up all the glue on purpose!” “Randy lay there like a slug. It was his only defense.”

Movie 3: “No one follows us or I kill myself and then her.” “With me…without me…with me…without me…with me…without me…” “Someday. That’s a dangerous word. It’s really just a code for ‘never’.”

No worries if you missed any. No doubt, you’ve got your own list. My point is that with just the smallest amount of information we can recall something good that we shared with someone and we can refresh each other.

Yes, you read that correctly. Sharing can be refreshing. With most of us being connected to the world 24×7 via facebook, twitter, Pinterest, not to mention work emails, texts, and the list goes on, this vast connectivity drains us and, as Christians, it puts a tarnish on us. The tarnish isn’t sin, it’s weariness from living in the world.

To bring this into focus here is one example. You have your morning prayer time, read a devotional and feel the closeness with your Savior. Then, you dash off to work. As you drive you begin putting your work-face on. All day long you are immersed in problems of this world; they’re not sin, just not ones that draw you to God. Finally, you begin your decompression drive home only to step into the world of home problems.

The closeness you had with Jesus that morning has waned. If you have an evening prayer time, you may come before God with a cluttered mind. It’s difficult to refocus upon what is really important, your relationship with Jesus.

How uplifting it would have been if, during your day, a fellow Christian had just spoken a word of encouragement, a verse or say “the Lord may come today.” to you so you could share a moment of refreshing. And, of course, you can initiate the refreshing.

When we read John 13:1-17, when Jesus washed the feet of His chosen disciples, we nearly always focus on the big parts, like washing the dust of the world off, and so forth. But, there’s also an aspect that is taught less often, that of mutual refreshing. In the culture of that day, washing the feet of a guest was an expected courtesy; it was refreshing.

Jesus washed His disciples’ feet and then said go and do likewise. We, as Christians, are to be a source of refreshing, especially to other Christians. And, that refreshing can be as simple as sharing something we have in common through Christ Jesus. So, as Jesus said, “Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.” (John 13:17)

Answers to the movie trivia: 1) The Princess Bride 2) A Christmas Story 3) Knight and Day

Photo by Simson Petrol on Unsplash

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