"But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:" 1 Peter 3:15 (KJV)
Facing ‘Dry-Bone’ Situations
Habitually, I did a devotional with my children and discussed with them the amazing story of Ezekiel 37 and “The Valley of Dry Bones.” I told my children that I was feeling inspired to write a fictional story of a soldier that died and whose bones were also in that valley. I started working on the story with difficulty, but was able to write some things down. My son, Angelo; without my knowing, was also working on developing a similar story. I then asked Angelo, to put our materials together. We discussed the focus of the story and I am amazed by how similar our writing styles are! My son is the editor of many of my writings and I am very proud that God was so gracious to give us this fictional story together. I hope you enjoy the story and that you find yourself inspired and strengthened as you face your own valley of dry bones.
The attacks upon us were vigorous, as our enemies showed no mercy in their flogging and torturing. They came from every corner, more numerous than ever imaginable. I saw our numbers diminish, and our line appeared more scattered as every precious second passed. Our enemies were smarter with astuteness far superior than our best men combined. Though we knew the penalty of our upheaval, we refused to deter; for the worst defeat is to submit to what we recognize as erroneous. We desired to fight, fight for our deliverance. Though the circumstances were detrimental, we knew one thing; we had to succeed in this war.
As this brawl continued, I could heed to the voices of the prophets. I could visualize the tremendous wonders performed by the God of my nation. I stood valiantly with a greater poise against my duelers. I was assured that my God would exemplify His mercy and re-establish us to the unity, prosperity, wisdom and tranquility as the era of Solomon. I was convinced that we would have in the midst of us the almighty fear that David and his men inflicted in the psyche and flesh of the nations. I was unquestionably persuaded that my God would manifest His valor as He did with Moses. Conversely, one-by-one, we were trampled; for this clash presented no withdraw. Our enemies did not even wish to settle for our surrender, but wanted to chock us and observe as our inhalation ceased. My optimism dimmed till my faith became as an unnoticeable trace of webbing floating amidst my heart. I befell as the last to stand, as they all encircled me, all fervent and ravenous for blood; and then…nothing.
I was placed in a void.
We were dishonorably conquered and destroyed by the viciousness of a most dominant and dexterous opponent. God did not meet us in the battlefield; we were left to expire. We did not enjoy the respectful burials of warriors. We were forgotten as a valley of soldiers whose dreams were decomposing by the passing of the reality of time. No one came to see us; a headstone containing the imprints of our obituaries was never constructed; our families abandoned even the memory of our names.
How could this happen? Where is my God? Did He notice my pain? Is it over?
“Can I ever recover from this addiction? Am I always going to be judged by the mistakes of my past? Can I finish that degree? Will I ever pay off my debt, get that promotion I am waiting for; be healed of this cancer? Will I die of aids? Will my children ever recover? Can my husband ever change? Can this marriage make it? Will I recover from this divorce?”
Year-after-year, I saw my carcass develop into dust; we were no longer comprised of any individualism; we became a vast gorge of desiccated bones! It was truly over! This went beyond the resurrection of Lazarus! My clash had ended, and we were condemned to an embarrassing disappointment.
Nevertheless, just before the puzzling genesis of the four winds readied itself to erase the final indications of our existence in the atmosphere; the Word of the Lord was proclaimed as the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob asked an astounding query that defiled any degree of reason and natural possibilities:
“…Son of man, can these bones live?” (Ezekiel 37:3)
And the prophet of the day; the Man of God by the name of Ezekiel; believed that only God could do such a thing and so he tells the story:
“So I prophesied as I was commanded; and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and suddenly a rattling; and the bones came together, bone to bone.
Indeed, as I looked, the sinews and the flesh came upon them, and the skin covered them over; but there was no breath in them.
Also He said to me, “Prophesy to the breath, prophesy, son of man, and say to the breath, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe on these slain, that they may live.” ’ ”
So I prophesied as He commanded me, and breath came into them, and they lived, and stood upon their feet, an exceedingly great army.” (Ezekiel 37:7-10)
What a fool I was, to essentially consider that God was in no way present and that His Word was not Truth. By the authority of God we stood as “an exceedingly great army.” Our honor was restored, our story will never be forgotten and our testimonies exist to arouse countless victory around the world, no matter what their conditions of situations may be. Even with my uncertainty, God confirmed that nothing is unfeasible for Him. And so, I must embrace a query of my own…what is broken that God cannot fix? What adversities do you face that God cannot transform? Consider the valley of oppression you may lie in wait, and bear in mind that this fight is not over or lost; for God is the Alpha and the Omega and the Determiner of what begins and what ends.The actual anecdote of this warrior may be a fiction; but the power of God is as true then as it is today! The pain that you are feeling even as you read these words is also real. Each one of us is facing our own “valley of dry-bones” situations. But tell me…what is impossible for God?