I will put my Spirit in you and you will live. (Ezek. 37:14)

MY HUSBAND, THOMAS, enjoys caring for plants. He coaxes weak plants into strong, blooming flowers. He sees the potential in the fledglings that I would ignore or even rip out and toss. Many of our household plants and landscape flowers now thrive because of Thomas’s diligence. He gives them life through watering, food, and a tender touch.

In Ezekiel 37, the Lord showed Ezekiel a valley of dry bones. He asked Ezekiel, “Can these bones live?” Ezekiel was hesitant. He didn’t see the possibilities amid the remnants of death. However, God promised to bring life to the bones. As Ezekiel watched, God performed this miracle. Through this vision, God illustrated His plan for the restoration of Israel.

Dry bones received fresh breath. God’s Spirit renewed dead men’s spirits. Life sprang from death. Each day of our lives, we are confronted with people who are discouraged and dry in their spirits. Before our eyes are friends, family, and coworkers who need hopeful words like Thomas’s plants need water. When we choose to encourage them, we imitate God. With the help of His Spirit in us, our words, supported by our actions, breathe life into faltering hearts. God calls us to speak life and act in compassion. As we follow His lead, get ready to watch dry bones come alive.

Determine who in your life needs a word of encouragement from you and give it.

Kathleen Dunlap lives in Colorado with her husband and Great Dane mix. For fourteen years, she worked in missions in Germany. She enjoys reading and running.