Food for Thought: “Dem Bones, Dem Bones, Dem Dry Bones”

Food for Thought: "Dem Bones, Dem Bones, Dem Dry Bones"

by Ardith Hoff

It is said that to succeed in life one needs three things: “a wish bone, a backbone and a funny bone.”  Reba McIntire

In Ezekiel 37 we can read the story of Ezekiel’s vision of dry bones in a valley.  The chapter details a vision revealed to the prophet Ezekiel, conveyed in a dream-like scene.  “In his vision the Prophet sees himself standing in the valley of dry human bones.  He is commanded to deliver a prophecy.  Before him the bones connect into human figures, then the bones become covered with tendons, tissues, flesh and skin.  Then God reveals the bones to the prophet as the people of Israel in exile and commands the prophet to convey another prophecy in order to revitalize these human figures, to resurrect them and to bring them to the Land of Israel.” Wikipedia under “Dry bones”

The relevance of Ezekiel’s vision for today is that when, like the Israelites, we feel isolated and hopeless in our own wildernesses of despair, we too can count on God to bring us back into a spiritual awakening.  He has given us hope and a promise of a new life in Christ, here on earth and forever in heaven.  We just need to grasp it.  “When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears and delivers them out of all their troubles.  The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.  Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers them all.  He keeps all their bones; not one of them will be broken.” Psalm 34:17-20

When we feel like we have been abandoned and are at our wits end about what to do next, we can turn to God.  He will provide the means to a better future, just as he did for Ezekiel and in turn the Israelites.

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope” Romans 15:13

One of the best ways to get out of the doldrums is to be thankful for what we have, and to do something nice for someone who is worse off than we are.  Too many of us hold onto bones of contention instead of learning to seek peace with our adversaries and to put meat on the bones of kindness.