Friday, November 18, 2011

Daily Bread: Dry Bones

"The hand of the LORD was upon me, and carried me out in the spirit of the LORD, and set me down in the midst of the valley which was full of bones, And caused me to pass by them round about: and, behold, there were very many in the open valley; and, lo, they were very dry. And he said unto me, Son of man, can these bones live? And I answered, O Lord GOD, thou knowest... Then he said unto me, Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel: behold, they say, Our bones are dried, and our hope is lost: we are cut off for our parts. Therefore prophesy and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, O my people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel. And ye shall know that I am the LORD, when I have opened your graves, O my people, and brought you up out of your graves, And shall put my spirit in you, and ye shall live, and I shall place you in your own land: then shall ye know that I the LORD have spoken it, and performed it, saith the LORD."  Ezekiel 37:1-3, 11-14

This parable of the valley of dry bones is a message of hope.  It reminds us that God has promised to restore His people to life.  It tells us that even if we are at a place where we are spiritually dead, that God can and will restore us to life.  It reminds us that no matter what valley we are in, that God will deliver us.  He's done it before so he will do it again, and again, and again.  

While the overall parable gives us a timeless message of hope about being delivered from the valley of dry bones, I think there is an important lesson to be learned about being in the valley of dry bones itself.  The valley of dry bones is a place of pain, suffering, and despair.  For most of us, the valley of dry bones is a place that we have visited on several occasions in our lives:  when we've lost a loved one, when we're battling some type of disease, when we've lost a house or a job.  We all have examples of a time when we looked around and suddenly found ourselves down in the midst of a valley that was full of bones.  I don't know about you, but when I find myself there, my first response is get me out of here, make this stop, deliver me from this spiritual pain, or emotional pain, or physical pain.

Pain is defined as an unpleasant sensation often caused by intense or damaging stimuli.  It motivates withdrawal from damaging or potentially damaging situations, protection of a damaged body part while it heals, and avoidance of similar experiences in the future.  So while the sensation of pain is unpleasant, pain really has an awesome purpose. It causes us to pay attention to a particular situation that we may or may not be neglecting.  It causes us to protect ourselves while we go through the healing process or the process of deliverance.  It causes us to take note so that we can avoid experiencing the same pain again, or at least be better able to handle the pain the next time around.  

Perhaps we should change our perspective on pain.  Maybe we should be thankful for it, because it makes us who we are.  I am a clumbsy person.  And as such, I have fallen down stairs on several occassions (and even tripped and fell going up the stairs a couple of times).  Now that I'm a mom who is often either carrying a child or holding the hand of a child I always take extra special care on the stairs.  I don't want to fall and hurt myself.  And I really don't want my kids to get hurt.  The pain of falling down has made me this way.  

Similarly, the pain of going through these valleys of dry bones have made us who we are.  Our valley build strength and character.  So for those of you are, like me, in the midst of the valley of dry bones, remember that God heals, God provides, God delivers.  But remember that this test will soon be your testimony.  --Lady S.

No comments:

Post a Comment