“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.’ ” Ezekiel 37:4-6 NIV
Death is a familiar journey to each of us. No one is exempt from the pain and reality that comes when life is completely altered and shifted because we must go on without someone we have known and loved. We are personally acquainted with the feeling that consumes us as we ache and long for life to come bursting forth in the midst of our deepest agony. Yet, we know that death is so final. We feel powerless and overwhelmed as we experience such loss.
Ezekiel knew this loss, as we do. He knew that what lay before him was a field of broken and shattered dreams taken too soon. Death was everywhere. Overwhelming facts and evidence yelled at him that life had been taken and God’s purposes thwarted. Dead, dry bones empty of life and hope spread all around him, but at the same time, a God who saw potential, beauty, and opportunity in the midst of death.
God saw an army. He knew there was more than death in that field, there was life waiting for an opportunity to rise. There was everything that was needed through the power of God to rise up and be all that God intended for them to be. To God, death was not and is not final. It is a place for resurrection life to flow. The question is, what do you see?
We have not only known death in the physical sense, but for every child of God, we have known the death of hopes and dreams, as well. We have been overwhelmed when we have glanced at those dead hopes lying in a field of immobility, lifelessness and unable to come true without a miracle.
In these moments, we could focus on the death or like Ezekiel trust our hopes to the hope giver. We could be ungrateful that He granted us a desire to see certain things, and then believe that He failed to come through. Or we can call upon Him in those fields of potential and allow Him to breath resurrection life into all that is His anyway.
To Ezekiel, death was the end of all that was. To God, it was the beginning of a sure victory.
In winter things appear dead, but spring reveals the fresh wind of God releasing life. As it is released from that which hid it, we see that life cannot be stopped. Likewise, life and beauty will rise from the hidden places of our lives and shine to the glory of God. Another reason for our hearts to give thanks. Life has overcome.
Today, I am grateful for hope. I declare with Ezekiel over all of the places that seem covered in disappointment, that hope is still alive. “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13 NIV