Can These Bones Live

Can These Bones Live?

Imagine yourself in this scenario:

The hand of the LORD was on me, and he brought me out by the Spirit of the LORD and set me in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones. He led me back and forth among them, and I saw a great many bones on the floor of the valley, bones that were very dry. (Ezekiel 37:1-2)

What would you be thinking? Probably something like: This place is depressing. What a wasteland. If the bones could talk, they would agree, saying, “Our hope is gone; we are cut off.” (v.11)

This scene reminds me of a similar scenario described by the apostle Paul: You were separate from Christ…without hope and without God in the world. (Ephesians 2:12) Separate. Disconnected. Without hope. Sit here for a moment. Sit in the valley of dry bones. Absorb the profound heaviness of hopelessness. This is the reality of human existence without Christ.

But the Spirit of the LORD is present, proclaiming, “I will make breath enter you, and you will come to lifeThen you will know that I am the LORD.” (Ezekiel 37:5-6) Only God can bring life to the lifeless. Only God can redeem what seems hopeless.

Notice the first step in this redemptive process: the bones came together. (v.7) What was disconnected, God connected. Are you feeling disconnected? Invite God into your reality. Ask Him to provide connecting points in your life. We are created for community. (Genesis 2:18) God brings people together to function as a body. (1 Corinthians 12) The statements, “I do not belong” and “I don’t need you” have no validity in God’s purview. (1 Corinthians 12:15-16,21) Cooperate with God. Do not isolate. Find community.

The redemptive process continues; bones come together, tendons and flesh appear. But there was no breath in them. (Ezekiel 37:7-8) Please don’t miss this: human community has no true life without the active work of the Spirit of God. We can network and connect ourselves with God-honoring intentions, but without the work of the Spirit, we are left with the “empty way of life” handed down to us by our ancestors. (1 Peter 1:18) Busyness, connectedness, and purpose are not enough. We need the Spirit. Hear the word of the Sovereign LORD: “I will put my Spirit in you (not only individually, but also collectively) and you will live.” (Ezekiel 37:14)

Today you may be asking: “Can these bones live?” (Ezekiel 37:3) Perhaps you find yourself in a desert place. Perhaps you feel disconnected. Perhaps you are connected but are experiencing no life that is truly life. Sit here. Know that God is present. Admit your need. Listen for God’s response. Do what He instructs. And watch God redeem your hopeless situation.

Jen Vogel

Jen served as national director for Alliance Women from 2015-2023; she serves in a variety of ministry capacities, including on the President's Cabinet for The Alliance. She enjoys reading, travel, and completing the New York Times crossword puzzle daily. Jen and her husband, Doug, attend Dover Avenue Alliance Church in Orange City, Iowa.

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