Photo credit: lablumenthalrothchild
‘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. He led me back and forth among them, and I saw a great many bones on the floor of the valley, bones that were very dry. He asked me, “Son of man, can these bones live?”
I said, “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! This is what the Sovereign Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life. 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.’”
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. I looked, and tendons and flesh appeared on them and skin covered them, but there was no breath in them.
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.’” So I prophesied as he commanded me, and breath entered them; they came to life and stood up on their feet—a vast army.
Then he said to me: “Son of man, these bones are the people of Israel. They say, ‘Our bones are dried up and our hope is gone; we are cut off.’ Therefore prophesy and say to them: ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: My people, I am going to open your graves and bring you up from them; I will bring you back to the land of Israel. Then you, my people, will know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves and bring you up from them. I will put my Spirit in you and you will live, and I will settle you in your own land. Then you will know that I the Lord have spoken, and I have done it, declares the Lord.’” (Ezekiel 37 The Valley of Dry Bones)
Recently I woke up in the middle of the night, and had a picture about a woman lying down because she was exhausted. As she was sleeping it felt like there should have been no action in the scene, but as my focus zoomed out, I noticed she was being carried along by people on a bed similar to a palanquin. It just reminded me that we have people that God has placed around us, as well as God himself, who can help and support us when we become wearied by difficult situations. It was also a great reminder that God doesn’t expect us just to keep going when we are exhausted, but he provides an answer to this, through Jesus. ‘Come to me all who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest.’ (Matthew 11)
The second part of the picture was a person who had fallen asleep in an arm chair. It was reminiscent of a scene which is probably played out in several homes around the country on a Sunday afternoon, or post Christmas lunch. As this person was asleep, a cat climbed onto them trying to pat them awake, then a dog lumbered in and placed a lead on the person’s lap, obviously in hope of being taken for a walk. But still the person slept on. Then I heard the words, ‘Rise up! I only meant for your sleep to be temporary. I’m not done with you yet!’
I don’t know if either of those pictures resonate with you, but if you are going through a tough time, know this, God doesn’t intend for you to keep soldiering on through it alone. What struck me about the first picture was that even though the woman had stopped to rest, she wasn’t left behind, she was picked up and surrounded until she was going to be able to carry on walking herself.
The second picture felt like it was relevant to someone who’d put down a hobby, a calling or a gifting a long time ago, after something they tried didn’t work, or they were stung or disillusioned by a criticism. ‘It’s time to start rebuilding this. Your rest time is up.’ In the bible, there are instances of God calling for a rebuilding after damage occurs; He rebuilt nations, He commissioned Nehemiah to rebuild the city walls, and paved the way for Jesus’ resurrection, to name a few.
If you’re in a season where you have that niggly feeling that you need to pick something up again, this could be your time. Don’t let age or bad past experiences hold you back. God can and does breathe life into callings and situations.
Ecclesiastes 3:1 says, ‘There is a time for everything and a season for every activity under the sun.’