There is a story buried deep in the Old Testament about the Valley of the Dry Bones. In Ezekiel 37:1-14, we hear a story about God bringing Ezekiel to a valley filled with bones. While walking through the valley, Ezekiel comments on the sheer magnitude of the bones and how dry they were; so, we are to assume they had been there and been dead for a very long time. God then asks Ezekiel “Son of man, can these bones live?” What would you have said at that point? No? Ezekiel is walking with God but the devastation around him is ghastly. He was looking at absolute despair – sheer hopelessness.
How many times have you been there in your life? Things look so bleak that there looks to be no way out. Everything around you looks hopeless. What we forget many times is who we are walking with.
Ezekiel knew he was walking with God. His response to God was “Lord God, only You know.” Ezekiel didn’t want to say “No, God, these bones cannot live.” He knew he was walking with the One who could breathe life into any situation. Ezekiel also didn’t feel comfortable saying yes because he was human, and he was still looking at a situation that he deemed hopeless. He responded in the only way he knew to respond – “God – My hope is in you.”
Shouldn’t that always be our response? Just like Ezekiel, we also walk with God. Do you believe in the middle of the worst situation, God can still work?
God was going to use those bones to create a new start. The story continues in that God asked Ezekiel to prophesy to the bones and tell them to come alive. The bones heard Ezekiel and obeyed the word of God and came up from the valley and formed into an army. God told Ezekiel to look how the bones had previously said, “Our bones are dried up and our hope has perished.” Now they were looking at a colossal army full of vicious fighters.
Just like God used those dry bones to build an army for Ezekiel, he wants to use our despair and hopelessness to build our faith. People are always watching Christians. It’s easy to hit a valley of dry bones and stop walking and trusting in God. It’s often those times that we get angry with God because He has brought us to such a place. But we have to remember that He is beside of us and He is faithful. If others see us still holding onto Him even when things are at the worst, that’s where He builds our testimony. That’s where you get to proclaim hope in the middle of the hopelessness.