By Cindy Goding
I have been reading through the book of Ezekiel during this season of Lent to prepare for Easter. Truthfully, it hasn’t been the easiest read. There are many cringe-worthy moments in the book. The words portray the awfulness and depravity of sin, of idol worshiping, coveting, jealousy, of murder, adultery, and anything else that pulls us away from God. The Israelite's have once again strayed from God even in their exile and he is sending his word to Ezekiel to tell them of the coming judgment day. The consequences of their sinful nature is sobering to read.
However, this week I read chapter (37) about the valley of the dry bones. It is amazing to think that God planned to use a valley that exemplified nothing except death to create beauty and life. He has Ezekiel say the words, to have the bones come to life, to have the bodies have a spirit and to live. God plows the land and from this empty and vast wasteland, a place that is equated to the Garden of Eden appears, overflowing with abundance and life! What an image that brings, picture a desolate wasteland that is riddled with dry bones on the ground. Yikes, right? But then, imagine the word of God being spoken as the bones shake and rattle and come together, as flesh covers the bones, and bodies begin to form, then the word of God comes again and the breath of life is spoken over these bodies and suddenly they are alive! The wasteland is rebuilt and they become fruitful and abundant with life.
What I love about this passage is the fact that God commands Ezekiel to speak the words over the dry bones. Ezekiel is commanded to speak life into them! Isn’t that true for us today? Aren’t we commanded and guided by the Holy Spirit to speak words of LIFE into each other? Often, we can focus on the negative, on the nit-picky, on the small things that irritate us about each other. We can become trapped on our “my way is right” instead of coming together in unity.
But what would happen if we spoke LIFE into each other? Real, encouraging, uplifting, edifying words of LIFE? Would the “wasteland” that we sometimes feel trapped in begins to grow into a beautiful garden? Would we choose to stay in the good fight longer? Would others around us see and recognize the work of Christ?
Yes, we don’t have a senior pastor right now. Yes, church is hard at times, exhausting, and overwhelming with all that needs to be done. Yes, it can at moments, feel like an empty wasteland and we are all dry bones. BUT GOD, in his great mercy and compassion has sent the Holy Spirit and to us he is SHOUTING words of LIFE over us! COME ALIVE Meadows! Come Alive! See what greatness God has in store for us! We should be constantly breathing LIFE into each other! Not the superficial, surface level words, but the words that literally bring dry bones to life! Next time you are tempted to say something “constructive” or “negative”, I urge you to pause and question whether your words will cause dry bones, or bring them to life! COME ALIVE Meadows!
“Thus says the Lord God to these bones; Behold I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live…and you shall know that I am the Lord!” -Ezekiel 37:5-6
Have you listened to the song Come Alive by Hillsong Worship? If you haven’t, I encourage you to listen to the song! *Click on the link for the YouTube lyric version of the song.