We love this song! I realise it’s not everyone’s flavour, but it is a huge reminder to us of a significant time in our reconciliation journey.
We’re totally blessed to be rooted in our Church for many reasons; one reason is the epic teaching we receive at every meeting, every week, without fail. Amongst the epic teaching, there have been some pivotal preaches for us.
This post is based on what we learnt from the account of Ezekiel and the dry bones. Everybody has seasons of dry bones; it’s that place that once had life and hope, but now looks hopeless. For us, it was our marriage, for others it’s health, friendships, relationships, unfulfilled promises, careers, anything really.
The hand of the Lord was on me, and he brought me out by the Spirit of the Lord and set me in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones. 2 He led me to and fro among them, and I saw a great many bones on the floor of the valley, bones that were very dry. 3 He asked me, ‘Son of man, can these bones live?’
I said, ‘Sovereign Lord, you alone know.’
4 Then he said to me, ‘Prophesy to these bones and say to them, “Dry bones, hear the word of the Lord! 5 This is what the Sovereign Lord says to these bones: I will make breath[a] enter you, and you will come to life. 6 I will attach tendons to you and make flesh come upon you and cover you with skin; I will put breath in you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the Lord.”’
7 So I prophesied as I was commanded. And as I was prophesying, there was a noise, a rattling sound, and the bones came together, bone to bone. 8 I looked, and tendons and flesh appeared on them and skin covered them, but there was no breath in them.
9 Then he said to me, ‘Prophesy to the breath; prophesy, son of man, and say to it, “This is what the Sovereign Lord says: come, breath, from the four winds and breathe into these slain, that they may live.”’ 10 So I prophesied as he commanded me, and breath entered them; they came to life and stood up on their feet – a vast army.
Three weeks before we heard the teaching on this passage, our 5 month reconciliation journey looked like a failure, I’d had enough, I’d told Ian I was done. We weren’t looking at anything like the beautiful resurrected marriage God had promised us, it actually seemed worse, both of us to blame for very different reasons.
I thought I was being given another chance to end our marriage, but this conflicted with what we both knew God had said. God spoke to me that evening through a guest speaker “When God says it – God will do it”.
It’s safe to say, we were in a valley of dry bones, a hopeless place, at the time I was thinking more like obliterated bones. That night, God was asking us “Can these bones live, can this marriage live?” It needed a response.
We learnt that our response in the valley is determined by the realisation of our position, our position in God:
- The hand of The Lord is on me (verse 1) – throughout the Bible, however it’s phrased, the hand of The Lord is powerful, this changes everything!
- I’m His ambassador – authorised representative of God in my world. 2 Corinthians 5:20
For those three weeks I’d set up a tent of acceptance, camping in my valley, thinking to myself “this is just the way our marriage is now, I tried”. In this preach, I had some choices to make, was I going to choose to believe God, to obey Him, prophesy to the dry bones around me or was I going to sit in my tent of acceptance?
We were encouraged to introduce the ‘facts’ of our situation to the truth of God. Oh there were many ‘facts’ and statistics that I’d read about our situation; they weren’t good.
That evening in Church, toe-to-toe, hand in hand, we prophesied over our marriage and each other, both declaring what God had said, and what we were believing for. The pain was very raw, there were tears, but we did it.
Something shifted that night, there was still a lot of work to do, but our hope was renewed, our faith increased, and I reckon there was a party in heaven! Step by step, life was breathed in to our marriage
Although our marriage isn’t in the valley anymore, we do have other ‘dry bones’ in our world, we are convinced that God is able, and we’re reminded that we need to speak truth and life over those circumstances.
So if today you, like us, find yourself surrounded by dry bones, there’s some decisions to be made – will you choose to believe God, to obey Him, prophesy to the dry bones, or are you going to set up a tent of acceptance in the valley?
God is immense!
You can listen to the preach we heard for free on Itunes here!