I felt like dry bleached bones in the desert when I found myself in God’s powerful presence yesterday. In that encounter, I learned pain is preferable to numbness, and nothing is worse than separation from God.
The images in Ezekiel 37:1-14 have always intrigued me, but those bones came to life in a powerful way this week. Verse 14 says,
“‘I will put My Spirit within you and you will come to life, and I will place you on your own land. Then you will know that I, the Lord, have spoken and done it,’ declares the Lord.” (NASB)
Romans 8:11 was also a vivid reminder of God’s power.
“But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.” (NASB)
These scriptures and the story of Lazarus in John 11 surrounded my heart with a refining fire unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. So very thankful for the promise of His redemption in Psalm 130:7.
“O Israel, hope in the Lord;
For with the Lord there is lovingkindness,
And with Him is abundant redemption.” (NASB)
My heart has been bruised, battered, broken, and abandoned; but it has never been burned the way it was consumed last night. Dry bones and the death of Lazarus have a new meaning most clearly expressed in Romans 8:5.
“For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace,” (NASB)
Life can only come from God. I’m easily animated; those who know me know it takes very little to excite me. I love that about me and pray it never changes. God didn’t break my spirit with His lessons this week, but He brought me to an important crossroad and made me decide whether I wanted the life He had for me or the one I had in mind.
I’ve never believed I deserved love, and that has gotten in God’s way. When I made it clear that I wanted His way, He burned away all that was in His way. The emptiness was numbing, and I was taken aback by the stillness. I look forward to a beautiful fleshing out that will replace the dry numbness of these sun-drenched bones as the Son drenches my heart with the sweet living water of God’s Word.
There is life after death. In fact, there is no life without death. I didn’t like the refining fire, the dryness, the separation, or the terrible numbness of God’s lessons this week; but I love knowing that He is clearing my heart for a reason. God’s lovingkindness is an oasis in the desert. My spellcheck says lovingkindness isn’t a word. I have to agree; it’s much more.