Read Ezekiel 37:1-14
37 I felt the powerful presence of the Lord, and his spirit took me and set me down in a valley where the ground was covered with bones. 2He led me all round the valley, and I could see that there were very many bones and that they were very dry. 3He said to me, “Mortal man, can these bones come back to life?”
I replied, “Sovereign Lord, only you can answer that!”
4 He said, “Prophesy to the bones. Tell these dry bones to listen to the word of the Lord. 5Tell them that I, the Sovereign Lord, am saying to them: I am going to put breath into you and bring you back to life. 6I will give you sinews and muscles, and cover you with skin. I will put breath into you and bring you back to life. Then you will know that I am the Lord.”
7 So I prophesied as I had been told. While I was speaking, I heard a rattling noise, and the bones began to join together. 8While I watched, the bones were covered with sinews and muscles, and then with skin. But there was no breath in the bodies.
9 God said to me, “Mortal man, prophesy to the wind.i Tell the wind that the Sovereign Lord commands it to come from every direction, to breathe into these dead bodies, and to bring them back to life.”
10 So I prophesied as I had been told. Breath entered the bodies, and they came to life and stood up. There were enough of them to form an army.
11 God said to me, “Mortal man, the people of Israel are like these bones. They say that they are dried up, without any hope and with no future. 12So prophesy to my people Israel and tell them that I, the Sovereign Lord, am going to open their graves. I am going to take them out and bring them back to the land of Israel. 13When I open the graves where my people are buried and bring them out, they will know that I am the Lord. 14I will put my breath in them, bring them back to life, and let them live in their own land. Then they will know that I am the Lord. I have promised that I would do this—and I will. I, the Lord, have spoken.”
The nation of Israel feels completely defeated; like a valley of dry bones. They have been in exile; they have been returned to the promised land. Even though all the structures are in place – there is no life. Ezekiel is reminded in his vision, that with the breath of God’s Spirit; life can be restored.
Sometimes everything around me looks like dry bones. I can’t see any hope; all I see is despair and defeat. Help me to remember – with your life; dry bones can live.