Friday, October 22, 2010

Oh, Hear de Word o' de Lord

. . I saw a great many bones on the floor of the valley, bones that were dry. He asked me, "Son of man, can these bones live?" I said, "O Sovereign Lord, you alone know." Then he said to me, "Prophesy to these bones and say to them, 'Dry bones, hear the word of the Lord!'" Ezekial 37

Sometimes I feel like dry bones. Lifeless. Used up and worthless. A waste. Past hope. I know those feelings are unjustified, usually even when I feel them. But feelings of despair are hard to shake when you're feeling nothing but despair.

This verse came up at the women's conference I went to with my sisters a few weeks ago. And I wrote it down because it seemed to be one I need to remember. Can these bones live? These bones so old, abandoned for so long, that every sign of their past usefulness has decayed away? If you know the story in Ezekial, they do. And the impetus to their resurrection is Ezekial speaking the word of the Lord to them.

That's what I need to do, I thought to myself. Speak truth, the word of the Lord, to those dry bones when they surface. Find scripture that speaks to my situation and remind myself of what's true. And yes, that's probably a good idea. But experience in the valley of dry bones has shown me that I don't listen to myself at those times, even when I know I'm telling the truth.

But I notice here that the bones didn't prophesy to themselves. The Lord told the son of man, Ezekial, to prophesy to them. God can and does speak through many mouthpieces, but usually his voice is most clear when coming through the sons and daughters of men. I take their words to heart better than I do my own, even when we're all saying the same thing. Why that is, I don't know, but it's true.

This is probably why we're commanded to bear one another's burdens. To confess our sins to each other. To encourage one another in the faith. To not stop meeting together on a regular basis. We need each other; we have to depend on each other. In America, home of the proud and rugged individualist, we need to get over ourselves and re-learn the value of interdependency. Or, at least I do.

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