Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love Him. James 1:12

Thursday, April 14, 2011

"Dry Bones"

If ever there was a time that we need a breakthrough, the time is now. If ever there was a time that we need an answer from the Lord, the time is upon us. Cries to the Lord seem to go unheard and one thing after another seem to go wrong. All that is left is dry bones in a wasteland - the very life sucked out of what once had purpose and meaning. These bones are desperate for an outpouring of the Holy Spirit - desperate to rise and fall with precious breath once again. These bones lay helpless, yearning for hope to be restored.

God, by the hand of the Holy Spirit, placed Ezekiel in the midst of a valley full of nothing but dry bones. And God asks, “Can these bones live?” Ezekiel surveys the scene. It looks pretty grim, for all that is left is dry bones. There’s no blood, no flesh, no life to even speak of. There is no way humanly possible that could raise these bones back to the land of the living. From man’s perspective - life here is impossible. It is absurd to even think that these dry bones could ever live again. But Ezekiel does not answer what seems to be the obvious. Instead he places the decision back into the capable hands of the very One who asked. “O Sovereign Lord, You alone know.”

So the Lord tells Ezekiel to preach to the bones! Say to those bones, “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.”

So Ezekiel did as the Lord commanded. As he spoke, there was a rattling sound and the bones began to shake. And I can picture it now - those dead, dry bones raising up to connect with one another. First the feet and ankles connecting to the leg bones, adding themselves to the ribs. Then the arms and hands becoming restored to the body as the spine and skull take their place to form the complete skeleton. The muscles, tendons, and ligaments appear upon the dry frame and quickly are covered by skin. But still, the greatest component to life was missing. Oh, the bodies looked alive, but they were still dead, as no breath was found in them.

And God commanded Ezekiel to call upon the four winds, that breath may come and breathe life back into that which was slain - to restore hope into that which was hopeless. By the Spirit of the Lord, the breath of life entered what was once a lifeless, hopeless valley of dry bones.

We all have encountered situations that seem utterly hopeless. God alone holds the answer. He is the only One who can restore that which seems lost. That which seems to be impossible to resurrect, is always possible when placed in the hands of God. There are really no hopeless situations - only people who have grown hopeless within hard times.

What are the dried up bones in your life? What circumstances are you experiencing where you need to call upon the Lord to breathe life back into that which seems dead? It’s difficult to imagine those dead, dry bones ever having life again. It’s hard to imagine your situation ever getting better. It’s hard to imagine life beyond your present circumstances. God is promising to raise you up from that grave and restore you to life once again. Will you claim that promise today? Surrender to Him, for it’s only by His power that life can be restored to your dry bones.

The Word of God raises us up and the Spirit of God gives us life. We may be helpless, but never hopeless.

“Then you, my people, will know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves and bring you up from them. 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 37:13-14

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