The hand of the Lord came upon me, and he brought me out by the spirit of the Lord and set me down in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones. He led me all around them; there were very many lying in the valley, and they were very dry. He said to me, “Mortal, can these bones live?” I answered, “O Lord God, you know.” Then he said to me, “Prophesy to these bones and say to them: O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. Thus says the Lord God to these bones: I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live. I will lay sinews on you and will cause flesh to come upon you and cover you with skin and put breath in you, and you shall live, and you shall know that I am the Lord.”
So I prophesied as I had been commanded, and as I prophesied, suddenly there was a noise, a rattling, and the bones came together, bone to its bone. I looked, and there were sinews on them, and flesh had come upon them, and skin had covered them, but there was no breath in them. Then he said to me, “Prophesy to the breath, prophesy, mortal, and say to the breath: Thus says the Lord God: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live.” I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived and stood on their feet, a vast multitude.
Then he said to me, “Mortal, these bones are the whole house of Israel. They say, ‘Our bones are dried up, and our hope is lost; we are cut off completely.’ Therefore prophesy and say to them: Thus says the Lord God: I am going to open your graves and bring you up from your graves, O my people, and I will bring you back to the land of Israel. And you shall know that I am the Lord when I open your graves and bring you up from your graves, O my people. I will put my spirit within you, and you shall live, and I will place you on your own soil; then you shall know that I, the Lord, have spoken and will act, says the Lord.” ~ Ezekiel 37:1-14
Where does God show up most often for you?
Or, where are you most often aware of the the profound Divine?
God showed up for Elijah in a still small voice and showed up for Ezekiel in the new life to old bones.
It feels that if was in those of valley of bones moments in my life that I've been most in tuned with God. A God who brought life out of dead bones and out of death on a cross is remarkably adept at turning the dark places in our lives into hope.
It might seems counterintuitive that the great teacher of love and hope is suffering and death, but time and time again, that bears out. Martin Luther spoke of suffering being a great teacher and that it is a life without trials that is the greatest trial.
It is in the midst of our valley of bones that we most need God, and can see most clearly how profound the love of God is.
Whatever valley of bones you find yourself in, the promise of life is not far off.
Remind me that there is life in these old bones yet, Lord! Amen