When God carried Ezekiel to a valley full of scattered, dry bones, God asked him,
Can these dry bones live again?
Ezekiel answered, “Lord God only you can answer that.” (NIV) God let his noncommittal answer slide and gave Ezekiel the next thing to do—an act of faith.
God was about to blow Ezekiel’s mind and wanted him to be part of the miracle—smack in the middle of it—not just a passive bystander.
God told him to prophesy [speak with inspiration from God] to the bones,
“‘O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord! “Surely I will cause breath [wind, blast, courage] to enter into you, and you shall live. I will put sinews on you and bring flesh upon you, cover you with skin and put breath in you; and you shall live. Then you shall know that I am the Lord.'” (Ez. 37:5-6, NKJV).
Before Ezekiel even finished speaking, the noise of bones rattling into position filled his ears. The bones did as Ezekiel had ordered, with tendons and flesh and skin covering them.
But these flesh-and-bone bodies still had no life in them, perhaps like Adam before God breathed His Spirit into him.
God told Ezekiel that these bones represented the house of Israel who say,
‘Our bones are dry, our hope is lost, and we ourselves are cut off!’ (Ez. 37:11)
Can you identify with that hopeless sentiment? I certainly can. My energy level fluctuates. My bones mysteriously crack and pop. My back aches; fibromyalgia and arthritis are among my diagnoses. My hope wanes as I reach for dreams and stumble.
If you have a chronic physical condition or struggle with depression, it’s easy to stop believing that healing and restoration are possible. But if God created our bodies, can he not recreate them?
God gave Ezekiel his next instructions:
“Therefore prophesy and say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “Behold, O My people, I will open your graves and cause you to come up from your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel. Then you shall know that I am the Lord, when I have opened your graves, O My people, and brought you up from your graves. I will put My Spirit in you, and you shall live, and I will place you in your own land. Then you shall know that I, the Lord, have spoken it and performed it,” says the Lord.’” (Ez. 37:12-14, NKJV)
God is in the business of bringing dead things back to life, calling our bodies, our dreams—His dreams for us—even lifeless relationships, back from the grave…
Because He wants us to know who He is. In verse 9, God told Ezekiel to,
“Prophesy to the breath [wind, blast, courage]…‘Thus says the Lord God: “Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe on these slain [destroyed, murdered, slaughtered], that they may live.”
So I prophesied…and breath came into them, and they lived, and stood upon their feet, an exceedingly great army.”
When God opens graves and brings His people up out of them, they will know that He is Lord (v.13). That’s what He longs for, us to know Him as Lord.
When we know who He is and His His Spirit is governing us, we will stand and be the exceedingly great army He dreams of, a people who enter the promised land.
As my hope for restored health and energy returns, I find old dreams being stirred in me, once lifeless possibilities resurrected.
Could I give a child who needs one, a home—a foster child, or unaccompanied minor?
Could I provide a welcome house for refugees and generously fund women’s shelters in Afghanistan?
Could I minister to refugees in camps in Greece?
Could I travel internationally to do research for novels?
Could I inspire other lovers of justice and world changers to dream big because they have a big God, even when they are short on energy or money to make it happen?
Lord, would you breathe life into me and into every dream that comes from your heart and mind so that I may know You more intimately and make You known?
Would you breathe life into every person reading this and into dreams that might have been buried long ago? Let it be so, for your glory.
It would do my heart good to hear the dreams stirring in your heart and mind, however impossible they seem right now given your current realities.