I hate depressing posts, and I hate sounding pitiful, but to be totally honest, I’ve been in a slump lately. I haven’t been content at school. I have no desire to focus on my school work. I’m sitting and waiting for this summer to show up, accomplishing whatever I absolutely need to get done, but only at the last minute. I’ve become withdrawn, preferring to sit around and watch movies all day. I just feel….blah.
My spiritual life has been equally affected. My Bible study has dropped off considerably, and I haven’t had the opportunity to attend church during the past couple Sundays, due to a number of things going on. I’ve been withdrawing from deep conversations with old friends.
I feel like a pile of dry bones, blanching under the scorching sun.
I couldn’t find sleep tonight, so I reached over to my nightstand, flipped on a light, and cracked open my Bible for what seemed like the first time in ages. I couldn’t say why, but I felt drawn to turn to Ezekiel and began turning pages looking for something that might pop out at me, something that I could use to make some sense of my life.
What I found was Ezekiel Chapter 37, entitled “The Valley of Dry Bones”.
[Just a disclaimer, I never read anything anymore without having a pen handy. Sure, it makes any book I touch transform into a mess of inky blotches, but it works.]
The scene opens with Ezekiel in this broad, dusty, sweaty, hot, and miserable valley, surrounded by a gaggle of bones just kickin’ it under the sun. Clearly, whomever they belonged to had long since expired, unable to live in such harsh conditions. Anyway, the first little exchange that jumps out at me is when the Big Man™ himself asks Ezekiel, “Son of man, can these bones live?”, and Ezekiel replies, “O Sovereign Lord, you alone know.”
Pause. This seemed awfully familiar to me. I’m a big ol’ pile of dry bones. For whatever reason, I am totally unable to sustain my life on my own, especially in such harsh conditions. I have been beaten down; I’ve grown weary of walking. I’ve abandoned those around me, curled up on the ground, and allowed myself to waste away. I’ve been super pathetic. And here comes this Ezekiel guy. He nudges pitiful me with the toe of his boot and looks up, asking God if I can be restored, as only He knows.
Un-pause. The story doesn’t end here, thankfully. God commands His servant to prophesy to the dry bones scattered around him. Lo and behold, through the words of His servant, God waggles his fingers and up pop these once dry and dusty bones. Tendons, muscle, and ultimately skin begin to weave together, restoring this pathetic lot to life.
Wow. What hope that gives me.
The chapter continues on, revealing God’s awesome promise. He will breathe into us, open our graves and bring us up from them. He will put his Spirit in us so that we shall live again. And He will do all of this so that we know He is sovereign over all. He is Lord.
I can’t even express how much that promise means, or how much simply reading those words has renewed my Spirit. Look, I’m not dead. I’ve got all my organs intact and functioning. I’m simply running low on fuel. If God, my Father, can take dry, cracked, dusty bones and restore them to life, turning a field of death into a vast and mighty army, how much more can He do for me?
God, I thank you for your renewing spirit. I thank you for your mighty hand and compassion, for your desire to bring life, not death. You breathe new life into me, raising up my head and standing by me when all seems hopeless. I pray that I bring glory to you in all that I do, for you are sovereign in all things.
For His Glory.
“‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: My people, I am going to open your graves and bring you up from them; I will bring you back to the land of Israel. 13 Then you, my people, will know that I am the LORD, when I open your graves and bring you up from them. 14 I will put my Spirit in you and you will live, and I will settle you in your own land. Then you will know that I the LORD have spoken, and I have done it, declares the LORD.’” –Ezekiel 37:12-14