This year my wife and I ran in the 26th annual Xenia Half-Marathon put on by the Ohio River Road Runners Club. It was a great race and I appreciate all the people and volunteers who came out to cheer the 1600+ runners. My wife noted to friends that we ran PR’s for the half-marathon (it was our first, but hey, it was still a Personal Record!). Yet, one of the necessities in a race like this is the “water stations.” The human body is made up of 65% water, so water is a premium. One cannot afford to get dehydrated or “dry” during the race.
Can I ask you a question: Where in your life do you feel dry today? In Ezekiel 37:1-14, the LORD brings Ezekiel by a vision out to a valley that was full of dry bones. The dryness of the bones showed their pure lifelessness. You may feel this in your marriage and family, where the communication and intimacy has dried up like Death Valley; in your business and work, where personal finances have dried up; in your health where you have been battling chronic conditions. You may feel dried out by your addictions to pornography, drugs, shopping as you try to hide many of your skeletons in the closet, praying that no one finds out. It may be dryness from anger, depression, people-pleasing or just being too busy. Yet the dry bones are around your neck and you see the vultures circling overhead.
Tommy Tenney, author of The God Chasers, describes a “dryness” in his spiritual life when he came to a point in his life: “I am a fourth generation Spirit-filled Christian, three generations deep into ministry, but I must be honest with you: I was sick of church. I was just like most of the people we try to lure into our services every week. They won’t come because they are sick of church too. But on the other hand, though most of the people who drive by our churches, live with sight of our steeples, and inhabit our meetings halls may be sick of church as well, they’re also hungry for God.” Tenney says that God is saying, “I’m not asking you how much you know about Me. I want to ask you, ‘Do you really know Me? Do you really want Me?’”
In the midst of this dry, dead situation, God ask Ezekiel a question, “Son of man, can these dry bones live?”(37:3) It was a God-sized Question Needing a God-sized Answer!
How many of you are asking the same question? “Lord, can this marriage and family live? Can my faith continue? Can my health and strength continue? Can I live without my addiction?”
You see, when we are in a dead spot it provides God an opportunity to produce life out of a lifeless situation if we turn to Him. But ultimately, as P.C. Craigie notes, “The valley of dry bones typifies the human face as a whole, exiled from God their Creator, and there is missing that fullness of life which God planned for all of us.”
Yet, in this picture in Ezekiel 37, the Lord gives “Coming Attractions” of a future reality that we just celebrated: the Resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. At Easter we celebrate the central fact of Christian history. On the Resurrection, the church is built; without it, there would be no Christian church today. On Easter morning, the women went to the tomb expecting to find a dead Jesus, but the angel said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; He has risen!” (Luke 24:5-6a)
You see, friends, a God-sized Question of Death Needs a God-sized Answer. And the answer to our dead, dry bones situation is the Living Jesus Christ! And because Jesus is alive, there is Hope! So, “can these dry bones lives?” In Christ, the answer is, “Yes! For Christ is Risen Indeed!” And wherever you are today, place your full trust in Him.
Pastor David Myles is from Emmanuel Baptist Church in Xenia and guest columnist.