“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.’” (Ezek. 37:14)

MY GRANDMOTHER NEARLY gave up on being married to my grandfather, and no one would have blamed her. Grandpa had been a functional alcoholic for a long time, but once his daughters were married and started families of their own, he kept drinking and stopped functioning. He was making bad decisions with the family budget and spent more time in taverns than at home. One evening the whole family confronted him with the ultimatum to get sober or get out. Twelve weeks later, with the help of God and a few friends from a group called Alcoholics Anonymous, Grandpa had put down the bottle for good. His new sobriety gave him a fresh start, and he took his proper roles as the patriarch of a growing family and as a respected community member.

The people of Israel had their own addictive behaviors—self-centeredness and idolatry were just the beginning—that nearly destroyed them. Were it not for the new hope proclaimed to them through the prophet Ezekiel, they would have missed the fresh start they needed to survive.

The dramatic turnaround required for my grandfather to quit drinking was an act of God. I know because he told me. Through an encounter with a prophet in a valley of dry bones, God gave Israel the new hope needed to generate their own fresh start.

Ask God for new hope in a relationship that has gone dry.

Steve Wamberg is a husband, dad, writer, and pastor who loves preaching, teaching, music, coffee, and Nebraska football.

© 2017 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission.