Have you ever stepped back and examined your life and felt like your life was just one great big mess of activity? You are constantly running from here to there and everywhere in between, but at times it all feels like one giant exercise in futility. Sometimes those of us who work in the church for a living can get so busy doing things like camps, VBS programs, mission trips, (the list could go on and on) that it feels like this whirlwind of activity is constantly consuming us.
And then we run into a time where it feels like we are doing all this stuff and it is not bearing any fruit. It can easily feel like an exercise in futility.
That’s where I found myself a couple weeks ago.
Then I remembered a question from Ezekiel 37. It was a question God had asked Ezekiel, but I threw it back at God. “Can these bones live?” I happened to be standing under the stars at a campground with the majesty of God on full display above my head. “Can these bones live, God?” I was a bit irritated to be honest.
I thought about the explosion of the gospel in the early church. I thought about the things I am hearing from the global church and the way God is moving all over the world. And then I wondered why so many times it feels like I am plowing uphill in the mud ministering in a North American church?
I tried to do my best Moses impersonation and I reminded God of His character. I reminded Him that He was supposed to be the God of all the great biblical narratives, He was supposed to be the God of Pentecost, that same Spirit was supposed to live and reside in His church. I asked Him to show me some signs of life.
When I came home I decided to re-examine that passage in Ezekiel 37. I love the fact that the breath that comes on the dry bones is the same creative Spirit found in Genesis. But another section stuck out to me.
“And as I was prophesying, there was a noise, a rattling sound…. ”
I’m always wanting to hear thunder and lightning, but God has opened my eyes to hear the rattling. Small places where the Spirit is at work. Since I came home from camp, God has opened my eyes to the rattling. And I am seeing signs of life everywhere.
In a conversation with a friend about the morning’s message, in a call out of the blue on my answering machine, in the potential of a new ministry, in the maturation of the saints through discipleship. Everywhere I look, dry bones are coming to life.
Everywhere… Bones are rattling… Can you hear them???