“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
Patricia De'Bell says:March 7, 2015 at 3:03 am
Thank you Freda. This week I sat on a bench In a very old graveyard and looked at the spring flowers growing there and they spoke of victory and of hope. I am very thankful that our God is the God of Hope.
Pat McRae says:March 7, 2015 at 11:32 am
As I read these verses I am wondering if God could of been speaking about salvation or maybe our preparation into our calling that he planned before the foundations of the earth. These verses are a promise that God will perform the impossible. Salvation and ministry are impossible for dry bones of a sinful life.
Salvation as a child came easy, but walking the narrow pathways were a challenge that took many years for me to begin to accomplish. God had to develop the muscle of faithfulness and the nerves to deny the desires of others, the right to take me off the path. I had to graduate from drinking milk and being carried, to eating the meat of the Word and to learn to walk focused on Him and focus on each step I wanted to take. When my graduation came God’s breath was no longer a sweet summer breeze of refreshment, but was the wind of change. God’s Spirit came with might and power to take me from self focus to God focus! From self-centerness to other-centerness. From worry and fear to trust and love.
As I apply these verses to my life today I see them so much more clearly, He is developing my ministry. 🙂 My dream has just been a heart beat, no form, no real growth for all these years. Oh every once in awhile I have touched the fringe of the dream, but I needed more. About 11/2 years ago the heart beat started to produce some muscles and some nerves that wanted more strength and purpose then just an occasional release of joy. The muscles started to strengthen as they focused on the exercises of obedience and faithfulness to God’s Word. The nerves became more sensitive to the voice of the Lord, as He spoke directions and encouragement. The muscles continued to become stronger as they obeyed the Voice causing the nerves to do things they didn’t know they could do. Slowly the meat and skin began to form and the heart beat started to take a shape. Today God is changing the gentle breath of growth to the wind of change. Oh the end result is not fully evident, but His Word to me is life! I will have had life added to the heart beat, muscles and form. And when people look they will know the dead bones of Pat have been raised to life by God Almighty, the God of the Impossible.
Today I am thankful that God’s promises are always truth and Amen! I am thankful that I see these verses being put into action in many lives today. I am thankful that the promise to take what looks dead and withered and give it all it needs to live again with purpose, a new vibrant life, is for us today!
So today I speak God’s Word over all my dry bones: God is laying sinews upon you, and meat and skin to knit you together for His purpose. His breath is being breathed into you to bring life and life more abundant. Hallelujah!!
Susan Craig says:March 7, 2015 at 5:43 pm
The winter of discontent-that is an accurate description of my life these days in a nutshell. Praising God in the spring,summer and even fall of life is much easier than when we are in winter-in the time of no color-mostly blacks and whites and a time when to feel hope or even see hope is so difficult. These dry bones are useless and crying out for life to return once more. Nothing looks hopeful when a person has seasonal affective disorder-I sit for 30 minutes every morning under a bright light hoping and praying that the light will improve my mood so that another day is not wasted in the gloom of winter. I would love to see my cup full and overflowing for all 12 months of the year but I must be honest and state that for at least 3 months of winter-sometimes longer than that- I feel like I am in a tomb, or a jail cell where every movement is limited and the effort required to just get out of the bed every morning is more than I can manage. Before I even attempt to get out of bed, I have to pray for God to push me out. When I was a child I loved every season of the year – winter was fun and I loved the snow and all that was unique to winter. But this is one area of my life that has not improved with age – I am tired and worn out and my body and spirit cries out for rest. I was very frustrated with this for several years but the past 2 years since I am no longer able to work as a nurse,I have been just going with what is because the fight in me has lost it’s appeal. To anyone else out there who is afflicted with this condition, this description of dry bones is very accurate. But I am glad that God does not see us as we see ourselves. He is the hope and the strength that wakens these dry bones every spring to hope again-to dream again-to energize these dry bones again to service for Him once more. Thankful His breath comes like the March winds and hydration comes with the April rains and the sun and flowers/leaves and grass spring forth new life once more in May. Our lives do go through seasons-our christian life as well. But God does not disappear in the winter no matter what our bodies/minds tell us. His love and Spirit remains with us thru all the seasons of our lives and all the seasons of the year. But the winter dry times are very significant to me because in those momments every breath is a gift from God-every act of love is a gift from God, every effort done in His strength makes me praise Him for every small mercy that I take for granted the other 3 seasons of the year. There is a purpose for the winters of life-making us so totally dependant on God for everything is the one I am most mindful of when I read these verses today. When all is well and when the sun is shining brightly in the sky, we then begin to stray from the basic foundation of our faith-that we are totally dependant on God for everything we have and do. So winter is as necessary as the other seasons – time for us to reign-in our independent spirits, our self confidence, our own abilities and live in total dependance on our God to provide the very breath we take-so we will not be puffed up in our independence apart from Him. I can honestly say that in winter, I am very aware of how weak I am and how strong He is, how dependant I am on His strength every minute of the day!! It is His way of keeping me close to Him and therefore I thank Him for the winter-but I pray that I will learn to be content in these winter months because they are as important as all other seasons of life-maybe even moreso.
Sue Holmes says:March 8, 2015 at 12:52 am
Today I thank God that through Christ all of His promises are ‘yes’ & ‘amen’ to those who believe.
I have laid dreams, desires and ambitions to rest as bones became more immobile. While muscles & nerve tissue became more unresponsive, hope seemed a bit more distant. But one thing has become abundantly clear to me, The same God who gave His Son to secure my eternity with Him also revives dreams, restores hope and gives new desires to the heart of those willing to place their faith in Him. Just as He did that day back in the garden, God can & will breathe life into discouraged hearts.
“God is not man, one given to lies, and not a son of man changing his mind.” (Numbers 23:19) God has promised new life to this tired body. I am grateful for His word that indeed never fails or abandons. He is a Father who delights in His children. He is a Brother to the broken. He is comfort, council, & refreshment in the form of the Holy Spirit to the disheartened. He has been all these things to me. He has given me a song as I awaken when His song was what I needed to know His presence in my day. He has given the promise of healing that is a lifeline on days that seem to take everything.
And most importantly He has given His body … a body that I am part of. Whether it is a faithful, obedient Pastor who starts a blog on gratefulness in the middle of an already busy schedule, someone from across the miles who responds with just the right words of encouragement, a friend showing up at the door with a flower or just a smile from across the room. He truly does breathe His life giving breath into us, His body. He truly does give new life to old bones. He truly does give fresh hope.
I am grateful to be a daughter of the hope-giver, promise-keeper & life-breather. He is amazing! As the scripture says, “Then you will know that I am the Lord”.