Of all the miraculous things God has written down in His Word, one of my favourites is Ezekiel’s experience with God in the valley of the dry bones (Ezekiel 37). Imagine how loud it would sound with all those bones clammering back together. Not to mention how astounding it would look!
The reason I love this story so much is because it demonstrates God’s desire to work with us rather than do it for us. God didn’t pick up Ezekiel like a little Ken doll and set him down and say, “Now watch this!” He invited Ezekiel into the process of the miraculous. Not that God needed Ezekiel’s help but rather it was an opportunity to cooperate with the living God!
1) God put him there. Ezekiel didn’t wander into the valley. God had a plan for Ezekiel to be a part of this impossible plan of putting these people back together. (v. 1)
2) Ezekiel was put right smack dab in the middle of it! Not viewing from afar, but up close and personal, “He caused me to pass around about among them”. (v. 2)
3) God wanted to know if Ezekiel really believed in His power, so He asked him! (v. 3)
4) Then God tells him to act on what he believes; speak to the dry bones — and God tells him what to say. (v. 4-6)
5) And Ezekiel prophesied. He did what he was commanded to do. (v. 7)
1) God invites us to not only witness but to cooperate with Him in the ‘putting back together’ of another person. We accept that invitation when we say ‘yes’ at the altar of marriage. Sure it’s going to be messy! You can’t make bread without getting your hands covered in sticky dough and you can’t build a sand castle without getting covered in wet gritty sand.
2) And we can’t be a part of our husband’s miraculous healing without stepping into his mess … Being among him. And why shouldn’t we? Jesus stepped into our mess to be a part of our healing.
3) God asked me the same thing He asked Ezekiel, “Do you believe in My power to put your husband back together? Or, is your marriage something that is just too much for Me?”
4) This was the hardest part but also the biggest parallel for me. Darrell was a professing atheist. In the natural it looked like there was no hope, he vehemently opposed anything remotely resembling God, these bones were indeed, very dry. But God wasn’t asking me to believe and act on what I saw; but in Him.
5) So I did. I hoped in God’s power and strength. I obeyed what was commanded to do – believed and acted on that belief. I Didn’t ask what it would look like or how it would sound or how it would happen.
And through the acceptance of God’s invitation to cooperate in the miraculous I was privileged to witness God put my husband back together!
As I read back over this post, I thought, “Gee, sounds kind of beautiful, flowery and neat & tidy, like an ‘All’s Well That Ends Well.’” This might be a good time to draw your attention to verse 7, because agreeing to cooperate with God in putting people back together isn’t usually flowery and tidy. I remember something a pastor once said to me, “People are messy, all people.” Beautiful and flowery (smooth and conflict free) might be where you could possibly arrive at in your marriage; but during the process … between the starting out and the finishing; there’s a lot of the in between, that chews at the flesh. The in between part in marriage is generally marked by lots of: behold! – THUNDERING NOISE, behold! – SHAKING, behold! – TREMBLING and behold! – RATTLING.
So I prophesied as I was commanded; and as I prophesied, there was a [thundering] noise and behold, a shaking and trembling and a rattling, and the bones came together, bone to its bone.
Notice when Ezekiel says that all the action happened? “and as I prophesied” The action didn’t happen after he obeyed – but while he was believing and obeying! All God wants for our cooperation is belief in His power; then He makes it happen!
God knows that He’s capable to finish what He started at the wedding cermony, even though to us it sometimes seems impossible, but, He pushes us to ask of ourselves:
- “Is ANYTHING too hard or too wonderful for the Lord?” ~God
- “Has the Lord’s hand (His ability and power) become short (thwarted and inadequate)?” ~God
Do you believe the impossible?