My email to home office summed up the sad situation. “I’m working from home tomorrow because I have three flat tires and need to deal with them.” I didn’t have three flats on one vehicle, but one flat on my truck, one on the tractor, and one on the flat-bed trailer. This is the kind of problem Sam always handled. It’s a shame he didn’t teach me how to change a tire. Since he didn’t, I needed help.
A few days earlier, AAA came out to change the flat on the truck but, to my surprise, the spare tire didn’t fit. The man removed a large screw, the cause of the flat, and plugged the tire instead. “You should be able to get somewhere to get this tire fixed now,” he assured me. It was late afternoon, so I elected to drive to the tire store the next morning. Unfortunately, the tire was pancake-flat again within a few hours.
I assumed I could fix my problems, but I was wrong.
You can Google how to do anything, so I expected that time-tested technique to work again. I started with the truck tire and quickly encountered a problem. No jack in the truck. I refused to be defeated, so I hooked my small air compressor to the tire and left it for five minutes. No change on the air gauge. I repeated the five minute timer over and over. Still no change. The air flowed out the hole in the tire as fast as the compressor pumped it in.
I needed an expert.
My hope of avoiding a service charge flowed out the tire hole, too, and I admitted defeat. I texted my friend who owns a tire store and she agreed to send someone out. In short order, the tire-expert rolled the jack under the truck, jacked it up, and removed the tire. He did the same with the trailer tire and headed back to the store. Before long, he returned with a repaired tire for the truck and a new one for the trailer. (I still need the tractor-tire-repairman to fix that tire.)
Flattened tires and flattened lives
All my efforts to restore air to my tire failed. The problem wasn’t just low air pressure. The rubber dangled from the rim. I looked at the floppy tire and thought, “I’ve felt that flattened before.” You probably know the feeling, too. Life slams you like a steamroller and leaves you so deflated it feels as if you’ll never regain normal again.
An image of Ezekiel and the valley full of dried bones came to mind. (Ezekiel 37) “Can these bones live again?” God asked him.
“Only you know that.”
“Prophesy, Ezekiel.” So he did. The bones rattled around and came back together. Sinew connected them and skin covered them, but that wasn’t life.
“Prophesy to the breath,” God told him again. Ezekiel spoke life to the bones, the breath of God flowed in, and those who were completely flattened and lifeless were fully restored.
The words of life
I felt like a bundle of tired, dried bones before. Maybe you have, too. If you’re like me, my best determination to “get over it” did little to restore zip to my step and joy to my heart. Only a God-given infusion of hope restored me and brought life.
Just as Ezekiel spoke life to the bones, we, too, have the power of life in our words. We can speak words that encourage, and infuse hope, love, truth. We can help restore those who’ve been flattened by life, if we will.
Today, let’s look for those who are in the valley of bones, bereft of hope and the breath of God and offer the breath of God to them. Speak life and watch as hope and joy return.
Death and life are in the power of the tongue, And those who love it will eat its fruit. Proverbs 18:21
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