Miracles; May 9, 2022

Ezekiel 37:3 He asked me, “Son of man, can these bones live?”
I said, “O Sovereign Lord, you alone know.”

It’s hard to pick just one verse to write about from this story, because it’s so famous, dramatic, and meaningful. However, with this verse we see that Ezekiel got off on the right foot to begin with. If God ever asks us about something, we can be sure He already knows the answer! Humanly speaking, the answer to God’s question here would be a resounding NO. I’m reminded of a story I read just yesterday about how police were called when about 150 human skulls were found in a cave in southern Mexico. Those who found them, and even the police, thought they were the result of drug gang activity, but further investigation found that they were at least 500 years old, and were from people who had been ritually sacrificed. That was not the situation here, but to Ezekiel’s eyes it probably looked equally hopeless. However, as the Bible says repeatedly, nothing is impossible for God. One linguistic factor it is helpful to remember in reading this story is that in Hebrew the same word, ruach, can mean wind, breath, or spirit, depending on context. It obviously appears with all three meanings in this story. There is a very good Japanese worship song that says, “The Holy Spirit is going to blow from the four directions and bring life to this nation,” referencing this story, of course. We are very prone to look at situations and say, “It’s impossible,” forgetting to add, “but God…” Another thing to notice about this story is that things needed to happen in sequence. First the bones came together, then they were knit with tendons, ligaments, and muscles, then skin covered them, and then breath/wind/spirit came into them. We often fail to recognize what God is doing when it’s still in process. America is a mess right now, but with eyes of faith we can see that God is indeed moving, and what happens in America impacts the whole world, whether we like that fact or not. God has not yet completed His plan, and nothing can stop Him from doing that. 

This is very pertinent to me, because Japan has certainly been a “dry bones” nation. I’m very grateful that a Japanese song has been created from this story, because all of God’s children in this nation need to have the faith to catch the vision of God’s Spirit being poured out here. That is neither passive nor pie-in-the-sky; we need to be active in offering ourselves to God for Him to use in accomplishing His miracles. I’m reminded of a friend who wanted me to pray for him to receive the baptism in the Holy Spirit with the gift of tongues. I prayed for him and then told him to start praising God and let God give him the words to say in whatever language, but he wouldn’t do it. He wanted God to move his mouth! That’s a sad misunderstanding of our part in God’s plans. I need to be active in my obedience to God, eagerly seeking to do whatever He wants me to do and not just sitting like a bump on a log until He knocks me off the log! Even if the situation looks as impossible as a valley of dry bones, I’m to keep moving in whatever the Lord has shown me is the task at hand, talking to the bones as directed.

Father, thank You for this reminder. Thank You indeed for what You are doing in this church. Thank You for enabling me to get the flier for the barbecue made and taken around to the neighbors, and that the response seemed to be much better than last year, when nobody actually came. Thank You especially for the response yesterday when I insisted that we needed to plan the program to do before the barbecue, and believers took the ball and ran with it. I was so out of my comfort zone, but one man said to me, “And you’re not to do anything.” I was floored, but totally relieved. May this indeed be a time of Your breath, Your Spirit, blowing through this church and this neighborhood, bringing Your life for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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