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Monday, 21 September 2020 07:00

3 ways to bring dry bones to life

 2020.42.3 ways to bring dry bones to life.main blog image

Many people know the experience of dryness in the spiritual life, perhaps because in reality it will be a part of any authentic journey. If you experience dryness in the midst of discernment, it can seem discouraging,  but perhaps that is the moment to spend time with Ezekiel in the valley of the dry bones.

The story of Ezekiel and the dry bones is among my favourite scriptures. Ezekiel recounts his experience of being brought by the Spirit of the Lord into the middle of a valley, filled with bones that are dry, dryer than anything he has seen before. The Lord instructs him to prophesy to the bones, saying to them ‘Dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. I will make breath enter you and you will come to life. I will attach tendons to you and make flesh come upon you and cover you with skin, I will put breath in you and you will come to life’. As Ezekiel prophesies as he is commanded by the Lord, he witnesses the bones coming to life, and standing on their feet as a vast army. He is then told to tell the people of Israel that the Lord is going to bring them up from their graves, bring them back to their own land and his put his Spirit in them so that they will live. It is by these actions that the people of Israel will know that the Lord has spoken.

Whether you currently feel bone crushingly tired, exhausted, only a little weary, or alive and full of energy, Ezekiel’s experience has incredible promise. Discerning a vocation is really about opening up to the gift of the Spirit inside of us, allowing him to fill every part of our being with his life-giving and life-changing breath. But regardless of whether you are currently discerning your vocation or not, here are 3 tips for opening your dry bones to the lifegiving breath of the Spirit.

  • Breathe – the Lord told Ezekiel that he would breathe the breath of life into the dry bones so that they might come to life. At the beginning of your prayer times, consciously focus on your breathing. Allow the Holy Spirit to bring to mind the areas inside you that feel dry, and breathe the power of the Spirit into their very depths.
  • Seek Protective Skin – the Lord told Ezekiel that he would attach tendons to the bones and make flesh come upon them, covering them with skin. In our relationship with God, we are called to protect our times of prayer. Even when they are dry, we are called to be faithful and to set time aside in a dedicated way. Protecting times of prayer might mean turning off your phone, saying no to something or getting up earlier. Whatever it may be, open yourself to the protection of the Lord by stepping out yourself in simple ways.
  • Come to Life – One of the best ways of coming to life is to live life. Sounds obvious in some ways, but in a time of dryness, it can be a good idea to spend some time each day doing something that is lifegiving for you – walking, reading, having a coffee with a friend, doing a jigsaw, whatever it may be.