God Will Bring Dry Bones to Life
Posted in Suffering/Healing
Scripture: “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 into you, and shall live; and you shall know that I am the Lord’” – Ezekiel 37:1-6
When I was at Montreat for the 2022 Youth Conference this summer, I felt God’s presence everywhere. It was easy to know that God was there because I was surrounded by people who believed and sermons that I really connected to. Everyone had a smile on their face, seemingly having nothing to worry about. Montreat felt like a safe bubble protecting us from the rest of the world.
The keynote on that Friday morning focused on Ezekiel 37. The speaker, Pastor Gail Henderson-Belcito, said that often things are going to be bad before they get better. She reminded us that when we leave Montreat, God will also be with us back at home.
All of this I have heard before, so I didn’t give it much thought. Once I returned home, I realized how hard it was to continue that same feeling I had at Montreat. I realized then that everyone has their own “valley of dry bones.” For me, it’s home.
While I have a family who I love and they love me, it hasn’t been easy to see God there. A few years ago, my mom was diagnosed with Multiple Systems Atrophy (MSA), basically a disease that slowly takes a loved one away from you. Sadly this summer, on July 5, she died from complications from her disease.
My mom wasn’t the only hardship, though. On December 4, 2021, my brother took his life. Throughout all this I prayed to God; I even begged God to do something. To not let my family continuously suffer. It’s hard to know that God is with me at home. To me, I see the “dry bones” that Ezekiel saw in the valley. If God would ask me if there was life left in the bones around me, I wouldn’t know what to say.
As I learned from this focus scripture, though, God helped Ezekiel bring life back to those very dry bones in the end. “I prophesied as he commanded me, and breath came into [the dry bones], and they lived, and stood on their feet, a vast multitude” (Ezekiel 37:10).
Pastor Gail was right. There will be bad before there is good. You will have a valley of dry bones before a valley of people, or life renewed. God was there with Ezekiel through everything, from the dry bones to bringing them back to life. And God has been there with me.
Prayer: God, please help guide us through our valley of dry bones. Help us realize that you are with us every step of the way, and help us understand that things will get better. We just have to trust that you will lead us. Amen.
Submitted by Evin Cate Johnson, High School Youth Member
(Evin Cate is a rising Sophomore at Midlands Arts Conservatory, and the daughter of Chris and the late Millie Johnson.)