Friday, August 24, 2007

The valley of dry bones

Grand Sweep Daily Reading: Ezekiel 35, 36, 37 (NIV)

Ezekiel 37:1-6 (NIV)

1 The hand of the Lord was upon [Ezekiel], and He brought me out by the Spirit of the Lord and set me in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones. 2 He led me back and forth among them, and I saw a great many bones on the floor of the valley, bones that were very dry. 3 He asked me, “Son of man, can these bones live?” I said, “O Sovereign Lord, you alone know.” 4 Then He said to me, “Prophesy to these bones and say to them, ‘Dry bones, hear the Word of the Lord! 5 This is what the Sovereign Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life. 6 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.’”

Good morning!

Getting my body out of bed is not always easy. I admit that I have old, dry bones. They fight me, especially in the early morning. Stiff and brittle, sometimes my fingers hurt as I move them across the keyboard. If I sit just a little too long, my legs feel like rubber underneath me. Do you experience shin splints or body aches that radiate from the joints connecting your bones together? If I squat down to retrieve something from the floor, my knees often sound like a popcorn popper over a hot flame. The bone density scan I have every three years tells the story. If my flesh were gone, those bones would resemble the ones Ezekiel saw with his own eyes in the valley of the shadow of death.

What is it like to walk through the valley of dry bones? Ezekiel must have shuddered in fear and despair. A dark and lonely place where no signs of life could possibly exist; a land where the remains of people long gone lay brittle and broken on the dry desert floor. The possibility that anyone could breathe life into these fragmented, disintegrated bone chips was beyond the prophet’s imagination. When God asked Ezekiel if these bones could live again, Ezekiel answered God with the only answer he could muster: “Lord, you alone know.”

Everyone suffers with dry, brittle bones at some point in their life. Maybe you have a physical illness or infirmity that is sapping the life from your body. A stressful time at home or work has taken the last ounce of energy you have, and your heart feels bitter and broken. You may want to give it up, believing there is no reason to go on. You have no more tears to cry. Your heart has become brittle and hard, like the bones lying on the desert floor. Are you walking through the valley of the shadow of death? Has all your hope faded away?

There are moments when we can feel trapped in the valley with no way to escape. Sometimes what we see with our physical eyes leads us to believe nothing more can be done. Thank God He has the wisdom and power to see and act beyond what we dub as a hopeless, helpless matter. With one breath, God can blow life-giving air into what we thought was dead. Healing can occur even in the valley of dry bones. There is no problem, health issue, or situation beyond the reach and restoration of our God.

The Lord gave Ezekiel hope for the future of Israel through his vision. There is hope for the hardest heart, healing for every broken life. There are some things we cannot fix, no matter how hard we try. But God can do all things. He has the power and authority to breathe everlasting life into a lost soul.

If you find yourself walking in the valley of dry bones today, look up and ask God for His healing breath over your life. He gives abundant and everlasting life to those who will repent and believe.

Grace and peace,

Deb Spaulding

Pray for: healing for your dry and brittle bones. The breath of God changes everything.


© Copyright 2007, Deb Spaulding

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