It was Ezekiel, one of God’s prophets, who wrote these haunting words:
“Then he said to me, “Speak a prophetic message to these bones and say, ‘Dry bones, listen to the word of the LORD!” Ezekiel 37:4.
Speak to the dry bones? To the things that have died?
I mean, can you imagine?
Why would God ask such an impossible thing?
(Is it possible that He wanted Ezekiel to believe that He is, The God of Impossible Things?)
The Bible does say that… nothing is too hard for Him. (Jeremiah 32:17)
You can look it up. It’s in there!
So, can I ask you a difficult question?
Have you got any “dry bones” in your life?
Are there some ruined hopes, or lost dreams that you have let go of, believing them to be long dead… believing they are beyond any hope of resurrection?
There are times when I walk there—among my ruins—wondering why things didn’t turn out differently.
And I’m full of questions when I go there. Wondering why I made the choices that I did? Why did others? Why didn’t God intervene like I prayed He would?
(Yeah, I do–I go there.)
And so I decided to ask God to give me some new places, with new dreams…
Believing that the lost dreams, I’d buried back yonder, were never going to be more than sad and distant memories.
(But you know what?)
Jesus keeps leading me back.
Pointing to the place of Dry Bones.
Jesus keeps reminding me that He is The God of EVERYTHING—even My Ruins and Dead Dreams!
That may sound a little strange to you.
(It certainly does to me!)
Look, I don’t know about you, but those places in my soul where all my Dry Bones are stored?
Those are places where I simply don’t want God (or anyone else) to go, because there is too much pain. Too much sadness.
These are the PLACES where I’ve been known to say, “Leave it alone, please!”
(Yes, I talk to God like that.)
But His love is relentless!
So, He takes me to a verse in my Bible like Matthew 19:26—the one where Jesus was talking to His disciples… and suddenly, I feel like He is talking to this disciple!
Jesus looked at them intently and said, “Humanly speaking, it is impossible. But with God everything is possible.”
Yeah, God will speak to you through His Word. And lately? Jesus has been speaking intently to me…
About the dry and dead places in my life. The impossible places. The places I made my peace with… and then moved on.
When Jesus finally got there, he found Lazarus already four days dead. Bethany was near Jerusalem, only a couple of miles away, and many of the Jews were visiting Martha and Mary, sympathizing with them over their brother. Martha heard Jesus was coming and went out to meet him. Mary remained in the house.
Martha said, “Master, if you’d been here, my brother wouldn’t have died. Even now, I know that whatever you ask God he will give you.”
Jesus said, “Your brother will be raised up.”
Martha replied, “I know that he will be raised up in the resurrection at the end of time.”
“You don’t have to wait for the End. I am, right now, Resurrection and Life. The one who believes in me, even though he or she dies, will live. And everyone who lives believing in me does not ultimately die at all. Do you believe this?”
“Yes, Master. All along I have believed that you are the Messiah, the Son of God who comes into the world.”
After saying this, she went to her sister Mary and whispered in her ear, “The Teacher is here and is asking for you.”
The moment she heard that, she jumped up and ran out to him. Jesus had not yet entered the town but was still at the place where Martha had met him. When her sympathizing Jewish friends saw Mary run off, they followed her, thinking she was on her way to the tomb to weep there. Mary came to where Jesus was waiting and fell at his feet, saying, “Master, if only you had been here, my brother would not have died.”
When Jesus saw her sobbing and the Jews with her sobbing, a deep anger welled up within him. He said, “Where did you put him?”
“Master, come and see,” they said. Now Jesus wept.
The Jews said, “Look how deeply he loved him.”
Others among them said, “Well, if he loved him so much, why didn’t he do something to keep him from dying? After all, he opened the eyes of a blind man.”
Then Jesus, the anger again welling up within him, arrived at the tomb. It was a simple cave in the hillside with a slab of stone laid against it. Jesus said, “Remove the stone.”
The sister of the dead man, Martha, said, “Master, by this time there’s a stench. He’s been dead four days!”
Jesus looked her in the eye. “Didn’t I tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?”
Then, to the others, “Go ahead, take away the stone.”
They removed the stone. Jesus raised his eyes to heaven and prayed, “Father, I’m grateful that you have listened to me. I know you always do listen, but on account of this crowd standing here I’ve spoken so that they might believe that you sent me.”
Then he shouted, “Lazarus, come out!” –The Message Bible
These are places He wants me to prophesy to.
(Places I let go of, a long, long, time ago.)
He keeps whispering, “With ME everything is possible.”
And in my head, I know it’s true. But in my heart?
I’m afraid to hope again.
And you know what? Jesus is just standing there… smiling at me from outside that empty tomb… like He did for Martha and Mary.
He looks into my eyes (and into my heart) and whispers again,
…“Didn’t I tell you that you would see God’s glory if you believe?” John 11:40
(Jesus has asked me this before, lots of times!)
So let me ask you…
Is there a place in your soul where you are really afraid to hope again?
Does it seem too late, too impossible, for that dream to live?
Is it time for you to believe again–to trust again?
Maybe it’s time to say to your dry bones, “Come Alive!”
For I’m going to do a brand-new thing. See, I have already begun! Don’t you see it? I will make a road through the wilderness of the world for my people to go home, and create rivers for them in the desert!
Isaiah 43: 19 TLB