Have you ever had the opportunity to watch dry bones come alive? I’m guessing not physically as Ezekiel witnessed in Chapter 37 of his book, but hopefully you’ve figuratively experienced something dead and dry being brought back to life! If you’ve never been a part of such a story, it’s an AMAZING experience, ESPECIALLY if the Lord allows the dry bones to be yours!
Back in 2009, I was forced to enter my own valley of dry bones. Everywhere where I looked, I saw hopelessness, devastation and no way out. I spent hours on my face crying out before the Lord, begging Him to remove the yoke placed upon me. You see, prior to 2009, my life was storybook (or so I thought). I had a successful career, my dream home, Caribbean vacations and was married to my college sweetheart. All of the things that *matter* in life, right?! So when I entered the valley of dry bones, I thought my life was over. Everything I knew to be true was suddenly dead and voraciously stripped away.
For years and years, residents of the Minden Historic Residential District watched as the bones of my little cottage became more and more fragile, eventually to the point of drying up with rot and decay. The paint slowly started to chip and peel away. Timbers gave way to elements and the cottage began to crumble from underneath. Pests invaded the home and took up residency. A slow water leak penetrated the roof and the damage appeared irreversible. The windows seemed to slide from their sills. Another hopeless situation. Another house lost to the elements. More dry bones.
“So I spoke the message as he commanded me, and breath came into their bodies. They all came to life and stood up on their feet.” Ezekiel 37:10
But our Lord has the power to speak LIFE into dry bones! Ezekiel watched dry bones slowly arise from the dust, become covered with muscles and tendons and eventually breathe in oxygen. Over a period of time, the Lord renewed and restored my dry bones and led me to a cottage in a similar state.
Both had been abandoned and neglected. Both deteriorated to the point of complete loss. Yet, something interesting gradually unfolded. It didn’t happen overnight. It wasn’t easy. But dry bones once again inhaled the sweet breath of life!
I can’t tell you the exact date it happened for me. But what I can tell you is that each day, I was determined to put one foot in front of the other. Sometimes that meant two steps forward and one step back. But that’s still progress! And slowly but surely, life was breathed into my dry bones. As my story unfolded and new bones were revealed, a glorious restoration story began to take shape!
And on that cold December day back in 2014, when I found my story personified in a simple, white cottage with dry bones, I knew I had to do everything possible to rescue it. It was a long, arduous process, but in September 2016, the cottage became mine. Its dry bones didn’t scare me in the least and honestly made me want it even more!
It’s been six months since closing, and the restoration work has really ramped up. A few “bones” needed to be repaired. Some needed to be fully replaced. The interior demolition revealed layers upon layers of wallpaper nailed on top of beautiful shiplap. Rotted floors and water damaged ceilings have been stripped away. Interestingly enough, as contractors work on the cottage, I keep hearing the words, “It has good bones. It has good bones.”
Isn’t that true of my story also? When a life crisis blindsided me and threatened my very existence, I fell back on the firm foundation laid so strongly by my parents during my formative years—good bones. I was broken much like my old cottage. And like the layers of wallpaper were peeled away from the shiplap, layers of hurt, embarrassment and shame were ripped away to reveal new life in me!
The dry bones of my life AND my cottage are alive! Still lots of work to be done on both, but the journey to full restoration has begun! The glorious unfolding is yet to be revealed. And just as a miracle happened right before the eyes of Ezekiel, life is being breathed, once again, into these dry bones.
*This post first appeared in the March/April 2017 issue of The Minute Magazine.
Have you experienced dry bones coming alive? It’s such a tragic yet beautiful experience wrapped in one. If you feel lead, please share your “dry bones coming alive” experience in the comments below.