You know when God asked Ezekial “can these bones live?” Ezekial’s response was the only logical one: “Only You know”.
If God had asked me that at any point in the last couple of years my answer would have been “only you know (but I doubt it)”.
If you haven’t figured it out yet, I am not talking about someone else’s valley of dry bones nor the churches dry bones nor those of our nation nor any other nation. These are my dry bones and my ministry’s dry bones. We are a small group of mostly family but our bones have been spread out over a valley deep and wide with no river, spring or rain in sight. Oh hush, I know that is not what anyone wants to hear or that you’re going sing me a verse of I’ve Got a River of Life Flowing Out of Me. I know all of that. I have preached the sermons and bought the T-shirts in the lobby.
But the fact is that sometimes it just quits raining… Hello desert.
Or maybe it’s the total opposite.
It hasn’t quit raining for days, months, and years on end. It’s been cloudy and dreary and now everything is not just wet, it’s soaked. It’s a sopping wet, swampy, sweaty, bacteria-infested mess. We can’t go anywhere or do anything. We couldn’t feel healthy in this mess if we tried (and trust me we have tried) and now our bones have sunk deep into the muck and mire of it all. Oh maybe we should stop here so that you can sing me a little bit of The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow… Annie.
The fact is sometimes it doesn’t quit raining… Hello swampy wasteland.
The question still begs: “can these bones live?”.
In the midst of those verses in Ezekial 37 God had him prophecy life, “Prophecy to the bones: LIVE” and then breath: “Prophecy to the wind: BREATHE”. The funny thing is it really doesn’t matter whether it is dry or swampy, you’ll still have to prophecy both to get the desired results. And sometimes you have to wait for the process to complete. I’ll be honest, during this time period I have prophesied until I was all out of breath and I wasn’t the only one. (Consider the possibility that Ezekiel stood at the head of that valley everyday for years having this interaction with God, but then suddenly one day the bones rattled.) There is a time and a season to all things. All things go through processes. It’s all going to be ok, at least that’s what I’ve had to keep telling myself and others.
So here we are with our bones finally coming back together and breath filling our lungs. The dry valley is seeing rain. And the swampy mess is feeling the sun and wind again. Either way. WE WILL LIVE and not die.