“The hand of the Lord was on me, and he brought me out by his Spirit and set me down in the middle of the valley; it was full of bones. He led me all around them. There were a great many of them on the surface of the valley, and they were very dry. Then he said to me, “Son of man, can these bones live?” – Ezekiel 37: 1-3
Today’s Bible passage takes us to the valley of dry bones in Ezekiel 37. This passage of scripture is filled with so much significance for me.
In this chapter, we come to a valley that is “full of bones”. As the prophet Ezekiel observes his surroundings, he notices that the bones are all very dry. This valley is like no other. It’s a place marked by death, pain, loss, and presents no hope of life. Yet God asks a peculiar question to his servant, ” Son of man, can these bones live?” Unable to see how it could be possible unless God intervenes, Ezekiel gives an answer that reveals his complete reliance and trust in God:” Lord God, only you know”.
Oh, how many times I’ve used these very same words with my Father:” Lord God, only you know.” When things get to the point of no return, when situations seem chronic, filled with impossibility, I cry out “Lord God, only you know”. This is where we find the children of Israel. As we diagnose the situation, we realize that the dry bones represent the whole house of Israel whose hope has completely perished. Not a hint of hope, not a hint of possibility. They have given up. Their situation is so bad it is dead, chronic, and beyond repair. They have been buried under the weight of their afflictions and have reached the point of the grave. They have no reason to hold on.
Oh, how I know exactly how this feels. Perhaps you have experienced this too. As you look at your situation(s), it seems hopeless and has led you to the point of brokenness. Perhaps you have been praying for years about a prodigal son or daughter that cannot seem to find his or her way home and their situation seems worst the more you pray. Perhaps you are weighted down by your broken relationships which you have asked God to heal, redeem and restore yet you have not received a phone call, a letter or even a text. There is no sign of the situation changing yet still each day you’ve been crying out to God. Your spirit is now broken. Things in your life seem dry like they have no life in fact…
My friend, I know exactly where you are. I have prayed and prayed more times than I can ever count over a particular situation. When I began praying, I was full of hope and on fire convinced that the Lord would do a new thing, would do a miracle soon. But soon has turned into months then into years and I’m still praying. But can I encourage you at this moment and unpack the truth of God’s Word?
There is life beyond the grave.
When you turn over your dry bones into the hands of God, He can do wondrous things, things that you cannot begin to imagine. In fact, God even gives you and me power over our dead situations. He says “Prophesy concerning these bones and say to them: Dry bones, hear the word of the Lord”. He says “I will cause breath to enter you, and you will live”. Oh, how my heart holds on tightly to this hope. God wants to breathe life back into you. He wants you to know that your dry bones are not beyond repair, not beyond the point of healing because He is God and He can put life back into anything. His Spirit is still powerful. The blood of Jesus is still precious.
That marriage that seems to be dead, on the edge of divorce, maybe the papers have already been signed, He can still do something. That relationship that got messed up and so much has happened since then you think perhaps they won’t want you back; there is still hope for you and that person. That child that dropped out of school is running with the wrong crowd, is doing drugs and never comes home, is not beyond the reach of God’s hand. You will no longer mourn over your dry situations because God will turn your mourning into dancing. If you have been dead spiritually, God is promising to revive you again. You are not beyond his reach, his grace, nor his love.
God promises to put His Spirit within you and me, to cause us to live again with hope, faith, and great expectations. He will open up your grave and bring you out of that dark place and lead you into a better place, a place where His promises to you turn into a reality. Friend, you can trust that if God said it, He will surely do it. That is his declaration, his promise to us. So right now, get on your knees or rise to your feet and prophesy to the dry bones of your life. Speak life into these dead situations, hopeless situations, situations that have reached the point of the grave because they will not stay in the grave. There is hope even beyond the grave.
Father God, you see the dry bones in my life. You see just how many they are and how dry they are. Those situations in my life have caused me to lose hope Lord. But I thank you Father that you promise to bring life back into these dry bones. I thank you that you are taking the broken parts of my life and breathing life into them, pouring your Spirit into me and bringing me out of the grave. I thank you Lord for being concerned about me and about these situations enough to bring me out of a place of mourning and into a new place, a place filled with life, hope, and joy. I thank you Lord that even now you are prophesying to these areas of my life that desperately need your attention. You have caused me to hope again Lord. I thank you for your ultimate faithfulness and for showing me once more that you are God and you can do the impossible. Nothing is too hard for you. So may your name be praised in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, Amen.
Joel 2: 25, 27-28