Our Christmas season has started off a bit rocky, to say the least. What felt like a literal plague swept through our home and knocked us all out. As we've been recovering, I've thought a lot about the Valley of Dry Bones in Ezekiel 37. The Lord asked Ezekiel to walk around a valley full of lifeless, dry bones and then asks Ezekiel “can these bones live?” Ezekiel's answer in verse 3 is so striking to me. He says “Sovereign Lord, You alone know.” Has there ever been anything more true? From the deepest place of what appears to be ruined, He alone knows how the story ends. When we are up to our eyes in the wait, the illness, the fall out, the toxic relationship, the longing, whatever it is that seems impossible to live through or appears to be dead and can never live again, the Lord alone knows.
The scripture goes on to say that the Lord gives Ezekiel the words to speak to the bones to give them life and fill them with breath, and as Ezekiel speaks out those words, the dry bones rise, take on muscle and flesh and ultimately are filled with living breath. The Lord says, “I will put breath in you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the Lord.” (37:6 and 14). Coming out of our plague, and honestly our differed Christmas spirit, I desperately needed us to feel whole and alive again on every level. I also needed a new breath in my lungs in order for me to feel alive from the inside. To remind me that the Lord knows how the story ends, even on the smallest level, and that He does care about bringing life to our dry bones and our empty or hurting souls. He cares so much, that He invaded our world, took on bones and skin of His own, and came to bring us back to life.
As I stare at the lights on our lopsided Christmas tree and think on these things, I also think on His knowing, His invasion and His life giving word is nothing but good. We are often so quick to put human motives on the Lord, but what human would risk so much for those He knows will doubt His goodness, His love and His miraculous restoration again and again? None, but the God Man. The one in the manger, He alone knows and He is worth knowing. He will speak to your dry valley and He will make those bones whole. He will pour out His Spirit on You and call you by Name, and His breath will enter you and you will be alive. He is trustworthy. He is near. He is Emmanuel.