On Valentine's Day Edgewood Church was blessed with a surprise. James Davis, who has been gone for months, came home for a visit. He has been in North Carolina, and is not quite through with his medical treatment. But in a few weeks, he will be released to come home to us. For those of you who are not a part of Edgewood, James Davis is a miracle. Having been turned down by UAB and Emory as a candidate for a lung transplant, James was finally accepted by Duke University for a chance at new life.
A few years ago I heard Janet Pascal sing “Another Soldier's Coming Home”. It is a tribute to a well-lived life for the Lord receiving his reward in heaven. Well, we have a solder who is coming home to us. It is not his time to go home to heaven. God has other plans for his life. We have missed him. We have prayed, and believed for him. And God has given him the miracle of life here on earth. But not just any life. God has literally breathed His life into James' new lungs.
“The hand of the Lord was on me,” Ezekiel imparts, “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. 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. He asked me, 'Son of man, can these bones live?' I said, 'Sovereign Lord, you alone know.' 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. 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.' 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. I looked, and tendons and flesh appeared on them and skin covered them, but there was no breath in them” (Ezekiel 37:1-8, NIV). The Lord then told Ezekiel to “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’” (Ezekiel 37:9, NIV).
James Davis was once a life about to fade into the valley of dry bones. But God breathed into His slain life so He might life. James has been changed forever. The life that breathes in James is the very breath of God. He knows who God is, and what this new life means. Life is a precious gift of God to be treasured and lived for Him. When God's hand touches you and heals you there is nothing that can take away that amazing awareness that you have been saved for a purpose..... that God in all His greatness has something beautiful and necessary for your life.
James is not alone. Perhaps you are sick, or struggling emotionally, or dealing with problems that are beyond your ability to handle. You, too, have a promise of new life. God wants to breathe His very breath into you and bring newness of life into you. If you are in your own valley of dry bones, don't despair. God whispers to the wind, and calls forth the breath of His Spirit to change you. He speaks to your dryness, and brings life to your slain heart. You, also, will receive the miracle of a new perspective, the fulfilled heart of a new life, and the powerful breath of the spirit of God to raise you up.
Toward the end of the story of the dry bones, the Lord makes a promise. “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'” (Ezekiel 37:14, NIV). This is your promise. You, too, can live and know that the Lord has brought you out of that valley of dry bones. It is also James' promise. James will live and be settled in his own land. This soldier is coming home.