Ezekiel had had quite a journey. Carried away from Judah into captivity at a young age, he had seen his nation scattered and absorbed into the ever-expanding Babylonian empire. In his latest vision, he found himself wading through a hot, dry valley scattered with bones – dusty, remembrances of lives that had surrendered to their inevitable end. Just as Babylon had taken the identity of his people, this valley represented the triumph of death. Bones were mixed together in such a way that each life represented was indistinguishable from the last. The graveyard stretched before him, filling the open valley with its dreadful presence as he stared across the vast sea of lost lives.
And then a voice from heaven broke the solemn silence:
“Son of man, can these bones live?”
It might have seemed a strange question to Ezekiel. Could these innumerable dead really rise up? But he had learned early in his ministry to focus on the God who could do all things.
At the Lord’s command, Ezekiel delivered a message of life to the dead bones. As his words floated across the desert winds, he heard the distinct sound of rattling. Bones that had been scattered across the valley came together to form the people they had once been. Muscles crept across skeletons, quickly covered themselves by skin. But God’s purpose for the bones to live – not to merely have the appearance of life. So once again Ezekiel preached, this time calling for them to breathe. As lungs began to take in the dry desert air, that mess of bones suddenly became a mighty army standing at attention, a picture of God’s promise of new life for His people.
So often our own valleys are littered with personal boneyards – wide stretches of land scattered with the lifeless remains of dreams, plans, hopes, and potential. We see opportunities we have squandered, chances that have passed us by, relationships that did not work out. But, just as He spoke to Ezekiel, God begins with a simple question:
“Do you believe I can bring newness into your life?”
It is in those moments that He reminds us that He is the life giver. The same God who breathed physical life into man in Eden also breathed spiritual life into His church at Pentecost.
What are the dry bones in your life right now? Whatever you may find yourself facing today, remember that the very same God who spoke the world into existence can speak new life into your situation. Dry bones can come alive and broken lives can be reborn. It is truly remarkable what we can find in a valley when we take the time to let God speak to us through our lowland experiences.
This concludes our 10 Things You’ll Find in a Valley series. Thank you for joining us!