Dry bones

Valley of dry bones

The first time I read about the proverbial valley of dry bones I was thirteen years old, and I remember finding it fascinating. To date I still find Ezekiel 37: 1-14, where Ezekiel gives an account of his encounter with God, a very interesting read. :

I felt the powerful presence of the Lord, and His Spirit took me and set me down in a valley where the ground was covered with bones. He led me all around the valley, and I could see that there were very many bones and that they were very dry. He said to me, “Mortal man, can these bones come back to life?”

I replied, “Sovereign Lord, only You can answer that!”

He said, “Prophesy to the bones. Tell these dry bones to listen to the word of the Lord. Tell them that I the Sovereign Lord I’m saying to them: I am going to put breath into you and bring you back to life. I will give you sinews and muscles, and cover you with skin. I will put breath into you and bring you back to life. Then you will know that I am the Lord.”

So I prophesied as I had been told. While I was speaking, I heard a rattling noise, and the bones began to join together. While I watched, the bones were covered with sinews and muscles, and then with skin. But there was no breath in their bodies.

God said to me, “Mortal man, prophesy to the wind. Tell the wind that the sovereign Lord commands it to come from every direction, to breathe into these dead bodies, and to bring them back to life.”

So I prophesied as I had been told. Breathe entered these bodies and they came to life and stood up. There were enough of them to form an army.

God said to me, “Mortal man, the people of Israel are like these bones. They say that they are dried up, without any hope and with no future. So prophesy to my people Israel and tell them that I, the Sovereign Lord, am going to open their graves. I am going to take them out and bring them back to the land of Israel.

When I open the graves where my people are buried and bring them out, they will know that I am the Lord. I will put my breath in them and bring them back to life, and let them live in their own land. Then they will know that I am the Lord. I have promised that I would do this and I will. I, the Lord, have spoken.”

As compared to the time before Jesus was born; the period referred to in the Old Testament when God used to talk to people a lot, nowadays I feel He is more discreet. I’ve read about many instances where He communicated to people through prophets. I can’t say that happens a lot these days.

It’s true, some people claim God sent them; nonetheless, it becomes very difficult to believe them because the infamous false prophets are on the rise. Conmen masquerading as prophets are roaming the streets freely, scamming people off their money claiming to have been sent by God.

One may wonder who falls for those cheap lies, but truth is when life brings us down to our knees we become so gullible. We readily believe anything that sounds like a solution to our problems. Sometimes we call on God, and when He takes too long to answer we despair; we feel He has abandoned us.

God is faithful. Even though nowadays He doesn’t appear openly like He used to in the olden days, He is with us and He listens to all our problems. If we look closely, we will see Him everywhere: in the air we breathe; in those little sorrows which make our lives feel impossible… He never leaves our side, even when we feel we’re alone.

I believe when we accept God; to live abiding by His laws, He in turn fills us with His Holy Spirit. He gives us the power to prophesy victory into our lives. Like Ezekiel did; with God’s divine help, he brought dry bones back to life.

The dry bones in our lives might be those situations, which feel hopeless: It could be one is sinking in debt and there seems to be no way out; or maybe one is battling an illness, which even doctors have given up on; or it could be an on-going war, where loved ones have lost their lives and there’s no end in sight…

But if Ezekiel’s story is anything to go by, we shouldn’t despair. If we keep our faith intact, God will grant us those miracles we so desperately crave. He will breathe life into those situations that feel dead, and they will come to life. He will breathe life into our hopes and dreams, and they will no longer be mere dreams but sweet realities.

The solution is to keep believing in God; because when the time’s right He will reveal Himself to us, and our patience and unwavering faith will be rewarded.

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