Only God Knows

The Lord took hold of me, and I was carried away by the Spirit of the Lord to a valley filled with bones. He led me all around among the bones that covered the valley floor. They were scattered everywhere across the ground and were completely dried out. Then he asked me, “Son of man, can these bones become living people again?”

“O Sovereign Lord,” I replied, “you alone know the answer to that.”

Ezekiel 37:1-3

The Valley of the Dry Bones is one of the most well known of Ezekiel’s visions. Many of us may remember the old African-American spiritual “Dem Bones” with all its various renditions. In this vision, God leads Ezekiel to a valley filled with a multitude of bones. The bones were dry, so they had been there for a long time. They were most likely scattered throughout the valley and mixed together. It would have been difficult to identify which bones connected together to form each individual person whose bones lay there.

In the midst of this valley, God asks Ezekiel a very challenging question, “Can these bones become living people again?” Ezekiel’s response shows how far the answer was beyond human reasoning. He simply said to God, “You alone know the answer to that.” Ezekiel didn’t have the capacity within him to know how that would be possible. Logic said it wasn’t. Yet, Ezekiel recognized that God was able to do more than any human being could do. God’s power and ability went beyond Ezekiel’s human reasoning.

As the vision goes on, God answers His own question. He brings all the bones together and breaths life back into the bodies of the people whose remnants lay there. It was a symbolic demonstration of what God intended to do by bringing the people of Israel back together. The people had been scattered throughout the Babylonian Empire. The remnants of a nation were few and far between. The idea of Israel ever being bought back together as a nation was beyond any human reasoning. God assured Ezekiel that it was possible, though.

There are times in our lives when we are encountered by situations that are beyond our human capacity to understand how things could be any better. In times like that, our best response to God is to acknowledge that He is the only one who would know how things could get better. Then, we need to listen to Him and obey Him. We need to trust Him that He has a better plan in the works.

  • Lord, help us to put those situations beyond our knowledge into Your hands and trust you.

Published by llongard

I grew up in northeast Wisconsin. After high school, I moved to Minneapolis, MN to attend North Central University and graduated 1992 with a degree in Biblical Studies and Humanities. I spent most of the next fifteen years in the Twin Cities area until my family and I moved to Indiana in 2007. For most of the first seventeen years after college, I was involved in university ministry either as a volunteer, bi-vocational, or full-time campus minister. Through those years, I also worked in the main street marketplace as a retail manager/trainer and as a service representative in the insurance industry. I've also worked in various education roles. Most recently, I have been working on various projects addressing homelessness in Indianapolis and as team lead for Diakonos Community, a Communitas International missional initiative. Through this ministry, we seek to build missional communities in Indianapolis that serve and bring the life of Christ to those on the margins of society. Our strategy is to collaborate with community agencies that serve those in need and share Christ through meaningful relationships. I am blessed with a wonderful wife, three amazing daughters, and two cats (can't forget the cats, LOL). As a family, we enjoy camping, hiking, gardening, and going to the YMCA together. I also enjoy fishing, riding bicycle, and being involved in whatever my daughters are doing. Though I have not lived in the Green Bay area for over 20 years, I am still a major Packer fan.

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