I was recently listening to Christian radio when I heard a song by Elevation Worship which references a scripture from Ezekiel 37 where the prophet references a vision of dry bones in the desert coming to life. What drew me to explore this passage was the vivid picture it creates of dry bones rattling as the tendons and muscles are added bringing the skeletons to life.
As I meditated on this passage, I realized there are periods in our life where we drift away from God and our bones become dry. We lose the conditioning and discipline which makes us stronger. We forsake the scripture, avoid Christian brethren, put what the world has to offer before what God is calling us to do.
In a similar fashion, I have seen a football season unfold where a lack of discipline and adherence to the principles of the game plan result in the team not reaching its potential. The past 2021 season, we had a young team and were confronted with the loss of our home field for practice. The result was fewer hours of practice time throughout the season. With less practice, I opted to cut some tackling drills and we quickly became a very poor tackling team.
Prior to the season, we had been in the state title game for five consecutive years and the common denominator for each of these teams was an incredibly proficient tackling team. In sixman football, there is a premium on tackling because there are significantly more one-on-one situations where a missed tackle results in a huge gain or a score.
We had averaged giving up less than 15 points a game in the previous five years. However, in 2021 we gave 30 points per game. That is more than double any other time in the past five seasons! That is the equivalent of football dry bones. We had abandoned the discipline and conditioning required to tackle.
The solution is to return to the same drills and conditioning which brought us success in the past. It is to focus as a team on holding each other accountable for our role in the defensive process. It is to discipline ourselves through drills. It is to have faith in what has brought us success in the past.
Then he said to me: “Son of man, these bones are the people of Israel. They say, ‘Our bones are dried up and our hope is gone; we are cut off.’ 12 Therefore prophesy and say to them: ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: My people, I am going to open your graves and bring you up from them; I will bring you back to the land of Israel. 13 Then you, my people, will know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves and bring you up from them. 14 I will put my Spirit in you and you will live, and I will settle you in your own land. Then you will know that I the Lord have spoken, and I have done it, declares the Lord.
In my own Christian walk, I feel as though there have been many times where I am nothing more than dry bones. This is to say, I find myself separated from God. An honest assessment of this predicament always points back to my actions as I recognize God will never forsake me. God will deliver me through and from whatever challenges I am facing so long as I put my faith in him.
What we must remember is the Lord works on his timetable and not our own. Most of the Israelites who heard this prophecy from Ezekiel did not experience life in the promised land as it was over 70 years before it was fulfilled. I am sure there were many who were doubting God and his promise of deliverance. They may have even questioned his ability to deliver them from the desert.
When you feel your bones drying, do not let the enemy continue to push you further away from God. Instead, return to the faith conditioning and discipline which draws you closer to Him. Read His word, meditate and seek Him in prayer, ask and listen as the Holy Spirit works to restore your hope and faith in God. Having done this, God will come alongside and deliver you from the spiritual dessert.